Smart meters and smart grid among new U.K. government’s energy priorities


Queen Elizabeth 
London, U.K. — (METERING.COM) — May 26, 2010 – Britain’s new Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government has listed the establishment of a smart grid and the rollout of smart meters as among its priorities in the energy and climate change arena.

A framework to guide the development of a smart grid may also be put in place in a new Energy bill, which was introduced by Queen Elizabeth in her traditional speech following the official state opening of Parliament yesterday.

In the document outlining the program for its coming term of office, the government said it believes that climate change is one of the gravest threats we face, and that a wide range of levers need to be used to cut carbon emissions, decarbonize the economy and support the creation of new green jobs and technologies.

“We will implement a full program of measures to fulfil our joint ambitions for a low carbon and eco-friendly economy.”

Plans are in hand to rollout out smart electricity and gas metering nationwide by 2020 and a smart grid roadmap was published earlier this year.

In its program document the government said it will support an increase in the European Union emission reduction target by 10 percent to 30 percent by 2020.

Other commitments include increasing the target for energy from renewable sources, establishing a full system of feed-in tariffs in electricity, and encouraging community-owned renewable energy schemes with communities able to keep the additional business rates they generate. Home energy efficiency improvements paid for by savings from energy bills will be encouraged and measures will be taken to improve energy efficiency in businesses and public sector buildings, with central government carbon emissions to be reduced by 10 percent within 12 months.

For electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles a national recharging network will be mandated.

In addition energy markets will be reformed to deliver security of supply and investment in low carbon energy, and ensure fair competition including a review of the role of the regulator Ofgem.

The forthcoming Energy Security and Green Economy Bill will be aimed principally to delivering a a national program of energy efficiency measures to homes and businesses, but may also include other measures to meet the government’s commitments. In addition to the smart grid development framework, these may include requiring energy companies to provide more information on energy bills in order to empower consumers and to ensure fair access to energy supplies.

Responsibility for smart meters and grid policy, including smart grid, is in the hands of newly appointed minister of energy Charles Hendry.