Dr Sarah Darby:
If you really want to see how heat is leaking from your home, you want thermography. When people are shown thermal imaging of their homes, it can have quite a dramatic effect, because you can absolutely see where it is leaking out. That is the most powerful way of doing it. A smart meter can just tell you, “This is what you are using now; this is what you used last week.” You remember, “Oh, yes. Last week we had the whole football team round having hot showers,” or something like that. You can link cause and effect to some extent. This is what you used, compared with several months ago. You can see seasonal effects and so on. You can work things out.
Ideally, you need to be able to put all that together with other sources of information. Another thing we find is that when people get their feedback from different sources, that has more effect than if they are getting it from just one. Ideally, you would see the smart meter information as part of a rich mix that people get gradually more familiar with and that they talk about with other people; they can find out what to do with that information and try to find ways of using it.