Improved billing information not enough to reduce consumption

Smart Meters fail to reduce energy demand

So-called ‘smart meters’ for monitoring energy consumption have been found not to reduce energy demand, new research has shown.

In a paper published in the Building Research and Information journal, Sarah Darby at the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford reported on the findings of a study into usage of smart meters and concluded they "did not manage to sustain their electricity savings any better than those without a monitor."

The researchers found that initial savings on electricity of 7.8 per cent after four months were not sustained longer term with consumption moving back towards the norm before smart meters were fitted.

In some European countries, smart meters are being rolled out to increase billing accuracies but in the UK the use of meters with real time displays is designed to raise awareness of energy consumption with the ultimate aim to reduce usage overall.

British government policy is that utilities move woards smart meters for electicity in all British homes by 2020.

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