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SMART METERING & THE CLIMATE CRISIS

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, but they 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 your smart meter provides can help you see the impact of making simple changes: whether that’s swapping bulbs for energy saving LEDs, 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 really help you to reduce your carbon emissions too.

Smart metering is not just about saving energy at home: it will also help Manx Utilities to get a complete, accurate picture of consumer energy demand. We have a good estimate of daily and yearly peaks and troughs but this hazy picture can lead to energy being wasted. Replacing old meters with smart meters will give us much more timely updates leading to a more accurate view of exactly when energy is being used, and where: energy generation and transmission as a whole will become much more efficient. 

 

It also opens up the potential of ‘time of use’ tariffs. We know energy usage peaks in the morning and early evening and is much lower in the middle of the day and overnight. However, this picture doesn’t always match up with when energy is generated – particularly renewables.

Time of use tariffs would provide an incentive to shift electricity use away from these 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 small hours of the morning when electricity is cheaper. This gradual flattening of peaks and troughs 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.

The creation of a smart grid means that we will see renewable technologies, storage, smart meters and other smart technologies all working together. As well as making the grid much more reliable with fewer power cuts, smart technologies will work alongside our changes in behaviour to further flatten any peaks, and to optimise energy usage at times of maximum renewable generation.

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

And that’s great news for the planet.

“Manx Utilities is fully committed to the Isle of Man Government’s climate change mitigation programme; the introduction of smart metering will aid customers in understanding their own electricity use, and help them to better manage their consumption. This improved energy efficiency awareness will contribute to a reduced carbon footprint in our homes and businesses, supporting the Government to meet its target of net zero carbon emissions for 2050.”

Mr Tim Baker, Chairman of Manx Utilities