GB smart meters save an estimated 1Mt of carbon annually finds DCC

GB smart meters save an estimated 1Mt of carbon annually finds DCC
Image: DCC

Britain’s Data Communications Company (DCC) has estimated the country’s smart meters have now passed the 1Mt/year carbon saving milestone.

This number is higher than anticipated and is equivalent to taking a million cars off the road or avoiding the burning of 500,000 tonnes of coal, according to the DCC.

The research draws on the recent smart meter impact study for the government, which found that the energy savings were higher than expected, at 3.4% for electricity and almost 3% for gas.

Adopting these figures and applying them across the 16.5 million properties on the DCC’s network, the organisation further estimates that when applied to the current energy price cap, homes and small businesses have the potential to save £770 million (US$993 million) annually collectively.

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“We are delighted to have reached this milestone, which shows the power of collective action on climate change. Small changes in homes across the nation are adding up to power station sized savings,” says DCC Chief Operating Officer, Penny Brown.

“The DCC network is transferring the vital data needed to make the most of renewables on our energy grid. At the DCC our purpose is to make Britain more connected so we can all live smarter, greener lives.”

Rollout update

The DCC’s latest data indicates that there are 16.04 million SMETS2 meters and almost 11.5 million SMETS1 meters totalling almost 27.5 million smart meters and covering more than half of homes connected to the DCC network, with the daily connection rate averaging around 15,000.

The government Department for Energy Security and Net Zero’s latest statistics to the end of March 2023 record a total of 32.4 million smart and advanced meters – 57% of all meters – with 29.4 million operating in smart mode in Britain.

The latest data from Electralink indicates that after a slowing in new smart meter installations early in 2023 the number has increased subsequently and the latest for the month of June of 209,000 installations is now above the 2022 monthly average of 197,000.

Nevertheless, for the first half of 2023, the 1.153 million installations is still down on the 1.181 million in the first half of 2022.

Despite the increase, suppliers are facing challenges in meeting the rollout targets, set to achieve full rollout by the end of 2025, a major one being a skills shortage.

The smart meters transmit energy readings every 30 minutes to the DCC’s network and this data is automatically shared with energy suppliers and grid operators, to provide them with a near real-time understanding of energy usage and enable them to utilise it to incentivise demand flexibility.