British Gas Steps-Up Smart Meters InstallationPublished: Tuesday, April 13th, 2010
The UK’s largest energy supplier, British Gas, has announced that it plans to step-up its smart meters installation programme and get two million of the devices in-situ in their customers’ houses by 2012.
British Gas say that this will allow more British households to take advantage of all the benefits that smart meter technology offers them, including real-time usage information, which helps to cut energy use and therefore reduce carbon emissions, and thus cut fuel bills.
And to show its determination to reach the target by 2012, it has partnered with a number of leading companies to put together its smart meter system. These include mobile phone company Vodafone; billing systems group SAP; two software and communications firms OSIsoft and Trilliant; and, smarter meter manufacturer Landis+Gyr. Also, the Zigbee Smart Energy global wireless home area network standard will be used to link up the in-home devices.
Each of the firms have roles to play in the British Gas initiative. Vodafone is going to provide the network which will carry the signal from the smart meter and allow it to talk to other devices. Landis+Gyr is responsible for developing the smart metering system for the home. It will be designed to monitor both gas and electricity meters, together with an energy usage facility displayed on a colour screen. Managing all the smart meter communications is a “head end” software application from Trilliant which will link-up the smart meters and help integrate other companies’ devices. The system that will store the smart meter data will be provided by OSIsoft. Delivering smart functionality for the IT systems provided by British Gas will be supplied by SAP. And providing the Smart Energy global wireless home area network standard is ZigBee which will link-up the in-home devices.
For British Gas, creating a common smart meter standard is vitally important, so that all suppliers can potentially operate the meters without compatibility problems.
Phil Bentley, Managing Director, British Gas, said:
“At British Gas, we already have the largest smart meter trial in the country. We want all our customers to have smart meters as soon as possible, so they can take advantage of this technology and use it to help them cut their energy use, carbon emissions and fuel bills.
“This is why we recently launched our new smart metering business, and began recruitment of our 2,600 new smart energy experts who will support the roll-out. And this is why we are today announcing a partnership with a group of world-leading companies, with whom we will work to deliver our ambitious target of two million more smart meters in customers’ homes by 2012. We are also sharing our smart meter standards with the rest of the industry.”
Cameron O’Reilly, Chief Executive Officer, Landis+Gyr, said:
“This partnership represents a major breakthrough for smart metering in the UK. Together, we will pioneer the technical and practical standards that will see every home and business in the country switch to smart metering within the next decade. British Gas is actively seeking to transform the market, and we are proud and pleased to have been selected for such an instrumental role in this major deployment.”
And Peter Kelly, Enterprise Director, Vodafone UK said:
“We are focused on making our customers’ lives easier by continuously improving our products and services on the UK’s best network.
"We’re pleased to be working with British Gas on this pioneering trial to accelerate the roll-out of smart meters into British homes. Consumers can count on our fast, reliable network to help them manage their energy costs with British Gas and do their bit to help reduce carbon emissions.”
Guest Article by Neil Camp