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Are the British public happy with their smart meter?

As part of the biggest modernisation of UK energy systems for a generation, the government plans for around 26 million homes in Wales, Scotland and England to be fitted with a smart meter by 2020, a national rollout that is estimated to cost £11bn.

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Currently, over 1.3m smart meters have already been installed across the UK; however, according to BBC’s Watchdog, 1 in 10 of these is not working properly. The programme has also received over 100 complaints from viewers that are concerned their smart meter is not providing accurate readings.

Working in partnership with Smart Energy GB, the national campaign for the smart meter rollout, we conducted online research to assess the public’s attitudes to smart meters. The survey, which was quoted by Smart Energy GB’s Chief Executive Sacha Deshmukh, found that 84% of smart meter users would recommend installing one to others.

Our research shows that of smart meter customers:

    • 79% have taken steps to reduce their energy consumption since having a smart meter installed

    • 82% have a better idea of what they are spending on energy

    • 69% have become more conscious of the energy they use since having a new meter installed

    • 79% are confident that their energy bills are accurate, compared with 59% of those without a smart meter

The findings also demonstrate that so far the campaign to generate awareness of smart meters is proving to be effective; the survey shows that from March to September 2015 there has been a 5 point increase (from 18% to 23%) in the number of people that understand what a smart meter is and how it will help them to keep an eye on their household’s energy consumption.

If you would like to learn more about smart meters you can visit the Smart Energy GB website or read the full research report.

Populus conducted 10,101 interviews using a bespoke online survey, designed to be representative of the population in Great Britain. The interviews took place between 18th May and 1st June 2015

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