Examination of Witnesses

Part of Smart Meters Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:15 pm on 21st November 2017.

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Dr Sarah Darby:

I would add that it is important to consider stuff talking to people through the display. When people ask for a smart meter, or when they are getting one, the bit they are really interested in—almost always—is the display. The single most powerful reason people have for wanting or appreciating a smart meter is that they get visibility of their energy use.

The knock-on effect from that is also very important in terms of the future energy outlook. For example, no amount of smart technology will insulate your walls for you. There are still a lot of unsmart things that need to be done to our building stock in this country, for example, that the smart revolution will not actually do.

On the other hand, if smart technology can be used to communicate to people to get them thinking more about what can be done, and if it can be combined with advice and guidance so that they have clearer ideas about what options are open to them—if there is support for the metering in that way—a lot can be done to take us forward. I want to emphasise that aspect of it as well, in terms of communication.