Smart Meters: protecting pennies and our planet

by Sarah Craig, Head of O2’s Smart Metering Implementation Programme

Climate change has been high on the political agenda in the past few weeks. Recently, world leaders gathered in Paris to work out a new deal to reduce our carbon footprint. And, on Monday, I was delighted to welcome Lord Bourne, the UK Minister for Climate Change, to our head office in Slough. It was a perfect opportunity to update him on the progress we’re making in preparing for the roll-out of Smart Meters in 2016.

Last week, Lord Bourne visited Paris where a historic agreement to limit greenhouse emissions was made. And, at O2 we know that Smart Meters will play an important role in meeting the challenge of an affordable, secure and sustainable energy supply.

So, it was a great opportunity for O2’s Smart Metering team to bring the minister up to speed. They showcased our special test lab, home to the communications hubs being installed with Smart Meters, as well as discussing O2 and how we deliver for our 25 million customers.

What is the Smart Metering Implementation Programme?

The Smart Metering Implementation Programme (SMIP) is the largest machine to machine contract of its type in the world. It will bring near real-time energy use information to over 50 million homes in Great Britain.

O2’s role in the programme is to provide communications hubs and connectivity over our 2G and 3G network to the South and Central regions. The building and testing of our solution is well underway and we were proud to show our progress to Lord Bourne at our Buckingham Avenue test facility.

Of course, a strong network is essential to the programme’s success. We have driven over 350,000 miles with a fleet of specially equipped cars to measure the actual coverage for homes in our areas. These means energy suppliers already have postcode information for 80% of homes and can start planning implementation with confidence.

We’ve worked hard to make sure Smart Meters will benefit customers and energy suppliers alike, and now we can look forward to the roll-out in 2016. To find out more, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me on LinkedIn.