Installation of smart meters has been adopted by the Government as a way of helping consumers have more control over their energy use and spending, while also helping meet environmental and security of supply objectives. The programme aims to install smart meters in all homes in Britain by 2020.
DECC commissioned Ipsos MORI to undertake research to measure the public’s views on smart meters and in-home displays (IHDs), including their information needs. The overall objective of this project is to understand consumer awareness, understanding of and attitudes towards smart meters and to see how these are changing over time. The study is comprised of biannual nationally representative surveys, conducted face-to-face in homes across Great Britain.
Overall the findings from the third wave of this research confirmed patterns noted during the first two waves, and it is clear that the public’s views on smart meters are still being formed. While half of British bill-payers are undecided, the balance of opinion is in support rather than opposition to smart meters. The majority of householders continue to be able to recognise a potential benefit to them, but are less able to name a potential disadvantage. In order to build support for smart meter roll-out it will be important to consider how communications are framed, and it will also be important to reinforce messages around the benefits as well as mitigate potential concerns such as cost and data security.