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Britain's smart grid

 

Smart meter technology will help bring our energy system up to date. A smart energy grid is key to achieving a low-carbon, efficient, and reliable way of providing gas and electricity to Great Britain.

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Britain's smart grid and the smart future

Moving towards a smart grid

 

Smart meter technology is a crucial step towards a smart energy grid. A smart grid is a modern way of running our energy networks. Linking different hardware, communications and other technology, it’s like an internet for gas and electricity.

Why we need a smart grid

 

The smart grid has the potential to solve lots of our energy problems. It’ll better match supply and demand. It’s more efficient, greener and wastes less energy. It’s more secure and reliable. Unexpected power outages can be tackled faster too.

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Promoting green technologies

 

The smart grid will be much better at integrating green technologies, from electric cars to home rooftop solar panels and heat pumps. It will help us get the most from variable power sources like wind and solar.

wind turbines and sheep

Rebalancing the energy markets

 

Smart meters will change the relationship between us as customers and our energy suppliers. Understanding what we're spending on energy means comparing energy tariffs will be easy. Switching suppliers will be easier, faster and more transparent for all.

Benefitting from ‘time of use' tariffs

 

Smart meters can accurately measure real time use of electricity, which means energy suppliers will also be able to identify more off-peak time periods and offer more tariffs that include cheaper pricing.

FAQs

What is the smart grid and why do we need it?

Smart meters help enable the smart grid, which is a whole new way of running our energy networks. It’s a bit like an internet for gas and electricity and will make us as a nation more secure and help us manage our energy usage.

The energy network we have now was designed for a time when our gas and electricity needs were much simpler. Now, we’re using more energy and have to find ways to reduce our carbon emissions. We need to integrate new technologies, like electric cars and solar and wind energy.

The smart grid has the potential to help us solve lots of Britain’s energy problems. It will:

  • mean we can better match supply and demand
  • help us be more efficient, greener and waste less energy
  • help energy be more secure and reliable
  • mean unexpected power outages can be tackled faster
  • mean we can plan for the number of power stations we'll need in future with greater accuracy

The smart grid will be much better at integrating green technologies, from electric cars to home rooftop solar panels and heat pumps. In particular, we need the smart grid to help us get the most from variable power sources like wind and solar. For example, smart meters should open the door to flexible pricing that means we can use solar and wind energy when it's plentiful.

 

What are the benefits for everyone?

Smart meters are a vital upgrade to Great Britain’s energy system. The way we measure and pay for gas and electricity hasn't kept up to speed with improvements across almost every other area of our lives. Smart meters will enable a more efficient, greener, smarter energy system and lay the foundations for smart grids, which are a whole new way of running our energy networks.