Smart metering will play a key role in the creation of a new smart grid that will enable the energy system to better predict what electricity is needed, and when and where it is needed.
Data from smart meters allows for power systems’ operations to be planned in accordance with accurate evaluation on demand, and maintaining carbon-heavy extra capacity may no longer be required. Data, and its analysis, will change the way we think about energy and we can all play a part in creating a cleaner, greener, lower carbon network. Smart metering will be the cornerstone of our smart grid and drive the uptake of low carbon technologies.
Smart metering will change the way we all think about energy. Smart meters record consumption data in real time and are self-reading.
Meters will automatically send details of energy usage and make estimated bills a thing of the past.
As a consumer, you will be able to track electricity usage and adopt energy- and cost-saving habits.
Smart meters and smart grid can enable greener energy and the wider adoption of microgeneration – electricity generation on a domestic or small scale.
In conjunction with public engagement, they can be used to create customer-centric flexible tariffs and incentives.
They will send information about faults enabling swift response to outages and greatly reducing the time for investigation and repair works.
The meter installation will give us an opportunity to do a detailed visual safety inspection of Manx Utilities' equipment in every property on the island and complete or recommend remedial work where there are safety concerns. (In the last two years the UK roll-out has identified over 600,000 unsafe installations which had the potential to be life-threatening and might not have been picked up if it were not for smart meter installers.)
Smart meter data could provide the means to better support vulnerable members of society. For example, tech companies are looking into smart meter technology for possible non-intrusive monitoring solutions for customers with various health conditions – e.g. dementia or mental-health patients.
For prepay customers, payment will become easy and more convenient.
In line with global trends, Isle of Man residents believe we should be taking firm and fast measures to address the climate and biodiversity crisis in which we find ourselves. In accordance with our island’s commitment to tackling climate change, Manx Utilities are looking for ways to help decarbonise our shared home. Some of the benefits listed below can be realised outright with the introduction of smart metering. Others unlock a huge potential for future change, where innovation coupled with community engagement can bring about a much greener island (and world).
The first step: Smart meters are the first step in changing the way we all think about energy. They will allow us to track and record not only how much electricity we use, but also when we use it. We, as consumers, will be able to review our consumption habits and introduce behaviour changes that can help reduce both our bills and carbon footprint. Even if these changes are small and the resulting effect seems insignificant on an individual level, the cumulative effect to the community will be vast.
Paradigm shift: Smart metering is setting the scene for a paradigm shift in our relationship with the environment, including electricity generation and consumption. Consumers are increasingly turning into 'prosumers' – generating their own electricity and feeding back into the grid, as well as consuming. There is an ever-increasing demand for more sustainable energy sources and greener technologies. In order for Manx Utilities to maintain an efficient and reliable network that will enable the uptake of renewable sources of energy, we need to understand in detail the demands on that network. Timely surveillance of how much renewable energy is connected to the grid will assist us in matching supply with demand and safely introduce new generation sources. For example, more and more people are considering acquiring an electric car, so our future energy systems need to be smarter and accommodate smart charging for electric vehicles.
Reduction in reserve capacity: With data on quantity and time of electricity consumption provided by smart meter technology, Manx Utilities can plan and forecast better. Analysis of such data and engagement with the public could help us flatten the peaks in demand by either reductions in energy consumption or redistributing the load throughout not-so-busy periods. New products and incentives could be devised aiming to spread consumption evenly throughout all hours of the day and night. Even - or flatter - consumption will remove the necessity to maintain carbon-heavy extra capacities. It would reduce the auxiliary costs and environmental impact upon, for instance, staff and buildings, maintaining extra turbines and generators, and having to upgrade and replace them. Environmental benefits could also be achieved through avoided power purchases and plant construction.
See a short video on how power grids are changing by Western Power Distribution.
Proactive network decisions: Smart data will give Manx Utilities deeper and more detailed information about the electricity network and allow us to deploy fact-based solutions rather than act on predictions and calculated assumptions. It will allow us to be proactive not reactive, and avoid non-essential construction, maintenance and repairs. It will further reduce our carbon footprint by eliminating manual meter reading and reducing site visits by using smart-meter-supported service enhancements.
Fairness to future generations: Smart data is a precursor of incentives for environmental stewardship and responsibility to shape a brighter future. Smart metering will be the cornerstone of an efficient distribution network aimed at environmental quality and intergenerational equity.
When that happens, we all win.
Smart metering will provide us with the technology required to best meet our statutory duty to develop and maintain an efficient and economical system of electricity supply and promote the economical use of electricity by consumers. We can:
Use information to maintain high system reliability. Smart data will provide us with deeper, more accurate understanding of network demands. Analysis of information about the performance of the distribution network can help better match generation with supply, with reduced environmental impact.
Provide more timely customer solutions. Smart meters provide focussed outage alerts notifying us when homes and areas suffer power outages, leading to a reduction in fault response times and assisting with fault finding.
Increase cost-effectiveness of operations. Smart metering will at the same time reduce the servicing cost through more intelligent investments in the network, along with streamlining of processes. It will minimise service calls and meter-reading visits.
The 4D electricity revolution: dynamic, digital, distributed and decarbonised