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Benefits for our customers

Smart metering can change the way we all think about energy as it will record your consumption data in near-real time and provide you with the ability to monitor your energy usage.

Some of the many benefits that smart meters will offer are that they will:

1. Provide the most reliable and accurate billing

They automatically send details of your energy usage and will make estimated bills a thing of the past. For prepay customers, payment will become easy and more convenient as you will have the ability to top up on our SmarterLiving app or via our web portal.

2. Allow our customers the power to manage their electricity usage  

Using our SmarterLiving app you will be able to track electricity consumption, which will allow you to adopt cost-saving habits.

3. Allow opportunities for new tariffs

It can be used to create customer-centric flexible tariffs and incentives.

4. Enable Manx Utilities to provide quicker responses  

Our smart meters will automatically send information about any faults that occur, which will enable us to provide a swift response to outages and greatly reduce the time for investigation and repair works.

5. Provide the opportunity for health and safety inspections  

It will give us an opportunity to do a detailed visual safety inspection of Manx Utilities' equipment in every property on the island, which will allow us to 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).

6. Support new developments that will benefit the most vulnerable  

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.

   

Benefits for Manx Utilities

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.

It will also enable us to:

1. Use the information to maintain high system reliability

Smart data will provide us with a 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.

2. Reduce fault response times

Smart meters provide focused outage alerts notifying us when homes and areas suffer power outages, leading to a reduction in fault response times and assisting with fault finding.

3. Increase the cost-effectiveness of operations

Smart metering will 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 building block to a cleaner, greener and low carbon network

Smart meters are a key part of the clean energy system of the future. They can help you to be more efficient in the home through monitoring your energy usage and also benefit the electricity system as a whole.

If you suspect that your home is not as energy-efficient as it could be, the data that your smart meter provides can help you see the impact of making simple changes: whether that’s swapping bulbs for energy-saving LEDs, or using the tumble dryer less often or insulating your home. You’ll be able to quickly see if you’re using less energy. Knowing how much energy is being used each day can help you to reduce your carbon emissions too.

Smart Meters provide the possibility of introducing time of use tariffs. It would incentivise shifting electricity use away from the peaks to better tie in with this energy generation picture. It may mean starting the dishwasher just before going to bed, setting the washing machine to start in the middle of the day when solar generation is at its height, or scheduling the car to charge in the morning when electricity is cheaper. This gradual flattening of peaks can hugely cut the carbon intensity of the grid by reducing the need for fossil fuel power plants that lie idle outside of peak times.

From reducing how much energy is wasted to helping the grid become truly responsive, smart meters are essential building blocks for the creation of a greener energy network that can maximise the use of renewable energy sources.

Green benefits

In accordance with Tynwald’s commitment to tackling climate change, Manx Utilities are looking for ways to help decarbonise our shared home. Some benefits will be noticeable straight away. Other benefits, although not visible may unlock a huge potential for future change, where innovation coupled with community engagement can bring about a much greener Island.

    

Smart meters are the first step in changing the way we all think about energy. It 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 effect seems insignificant on an individual level, the cumulative effect on the community will be vast.

Smart metering is setting the scene for an important shift in our relationship with the environment, including electricity generation and consumption. 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 introducing 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.

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 reduction 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.

 

Smart data will give Manx Utilities deeper and more detailed information about the electricity network, which will allow us to deploy fact-based solutions rather than act on predictions and calculated assumptions. It will support us in being 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.

Smart data is an incentive 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.