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Pop Sm-Art: Sir Peter Blake Heralds the arrival of 53 million new smart meters

22 November 2016

The Arrival of the Smart Meters takes its inspiration from the smart meter in-home displays that are offered with every smart meter and make energy use visible in pounds and pence for the first time. The picture transforms the displays into colourful people, representing the army of smart meter installers bringing this new technology to every home in the country.

Known as the ‘Godfather of British pop art’ Sir Peter is best known for the design of the Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover. He was at the forefront of the pop art movement which flourished in Britain and America in the 50s and 60s, drawing inspiration from popular and commercial culture. 

The Arrival of the Smart Meters is being exhibited at the White Cloth Gallery in Leeds from 23rd November to 11th December 2016.

Sir Peter Blake is the latest major cultural figure to take inspiration from smart meters and the transformation they will bring to our energy system. Earlier in the year (May 2016) Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy published Meters, a poem that marked the digital switchover from analogue to smart meters. Late last year (November 2015) the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra performed A Requiem for Meters, a three-minute piece of music played entirely on instruments made from old gas and electricity meters. The requiem was recorded at Abbey Road Studios and released for free on Spotify.

Sir Peter Blake said: “I took inspiration for my latest work from the artist Saul Steinberg, who gave new meaning to everyday objects. In this case the smart meters suggested little bodies to me, so I turned them into people, symbolising the installers who are fitting the meters into every home in Great Britain. I love that something that can be seen as rather workaday is being introduced with art, and Arrival of the Smart Meters is an interesting way of highlighting its national significance.”

Sacha Deshmukh, Chief Executive of Smart Energy GB, said: “It’s fantastic that one of our greatest living artists has brought smart meters and the smart meter rollout to life in this way. And I’m delighted that he has included the real heroes of the rollout – the installers, who are travelling up and down the country to fit millions of smart meters in homes across Great Britain. Smart meters put people in control of their gas and electricity, showing them in pounds and pence how much they are spending on energy, and bringing an end to estimated bills.”

Eight in ten people with smart meters would recommend one and the same proportion say they have taken steps to save energy, such as turning off lights, turning their heating down or changing the way household appliances are used.

To view the Arrival of the Smart Meters or for more information on smart meters and the national smart meter rollout visit

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For more information and interview requests, please contact the Smart Energy GB press office at Shine Communications on 020 7100 7100 / 07736 473 462 or [email protected]. 

Notes To Editors

About Smart Energy GB

Smart Energy GB is the voice of the smart meter rollout. It’s our task to help everyone in Great Britain understand smart meters, the national rollout and how to use their new meters to get their gas and electricity under control. Our national campaign has already begun and will reach all households and microbusinesses in England, Scotland and Wales. See here for more information.  

About smart meters and the rollout

Smart meters will replace the traditional meters we currently have in our homes. They will provide consumers with accurate bills, near real time information on energy usage in pounds and pence, and greater control over their gas and electricity. The smart meter rollout is an essential technology upgrade, unprecedented in its scale, to improve Great Britain’s energy infrastructure. Between now and 2020, everyone across England, Scotland and Wales will be offered a smart meter by their energy supplier at no extra cost. More than 4 million smart meters have already been installed across Great Britain. To find out how you can get a smart meter from your energy supplier, pick up a leaflet from your local Post Office® branch or visit this page.