Friday, February 19, 2010

Lessons learnt on Smart Meter rollout

Just reading an interesting post on Greenmonks Blog on how not to roll out a smart meter system.

The crux of it is that if you want people to change their behavior, you have to make the information they need to adapt highly visible. In this rollout, the company was expecting customers to shift their loads from peak (high cost) periods to off peak (low cost) periods and thereby reduce their overall bills. But there were no displays on the meters giving the current cost of electricity, no way of seeing current consumption or current spend. I previously suggested in this blog, that to reduce our car driving we have the current cost of our journeys displayed in real-time on the car dashboard to keep reminding us how much we have spent. As it stands, we only have the short pain of filling up our tanks followed by a long period of driving for free, and judging from our steadfast reluctance to reducing the time we spend in our cars, fuel price increases don't lead to behaviour change.

1 comment:

paul_tanner said...

To get behaviour change you need at least real time display. After the obvious stuff is done significant savings are still available. To appreciate these opportunites you need time-series displays. These highlight appliances not functioning as they should and other stuff that goes unnoticed with an ordinary display. For this reason I intend to progress from 5 minute to 10 second sampling. The potential savings are considerable so even climate deniers can appreciate the financial argument. Too bad you have to rig this up yourself as legislators make political commitments but won't follow through.