Last week I attended a Parliamentary meeting titled ‘Putting consumers in control? The Green Deal and Smart Meters’. Phil Bently, the Managing Director of British Gas and Audrey Gallacher, Director of Energy Policy at Consumer Focus presented their perspectives on these two key Government energy reduction initiatives. A number of MPs also attended the meeting and consequently it was a great opportunity to hear views of representatives from Government, industry and consumer bodies.
The presenters agreed that together the Green Deal and the Smart Meter roll-out were essential in encouraging us all to reduce the energy used in our homes. A recurring theme was that in the context of ever increasing energy prices consumers need to make energy efficiency improvements to their homes and change their behaviour if they are going to keep their bills down.
Throughout the discussion it emerged that Government, industry and consumer representatives at the meeting saw the policy initiatives as very separate entities. The researchers on the REFIT project, however, see the improved energy consumption data that will result from the roll-out of Smart Meters as an exciting opportunity to inform retrofit decision making. We aim to analyse Smart Meter data to improve the Green Deal advice process and consequently recognise the cross over in these two significant initiatives.