Enhancing energy efficiency through awareness
While smart meters provide granular information which is very useful for the provision of detailed energy consumption reporting, smart billing can be effectively implemented without smart meters being installed. Key examples of this have been demonstrated in Chile, Abu Dhabi and South Africa.
Because residential consumers make up an important portion of a utility’s consumption (between 20% and 39%), they are also an essential part of any energy efficiency strategy. However, this is a market that is also perceived as being difficult to reach and engage with. Research, however, would indicate that enhancing utility bills may be an effective and low cost way of increasing awareness of consumption and conservation.
As the cost of electricity continues to rise, consumers have been badly hit by price increases – in Europe, but also in places such as South Africa, where electricity prices are set to double, after already having increased by 180% over the past six years. In Chile, prices have gone up by 75% since 2006.