Smart Energy GB, the voice of the smart meter rollout, has published new research into the smart meter installation journey for people with additional barriers.
Using a range of qualitative research techniques to gather insight directly from energy consumers, this research has explored the impact of having an additional barrier such as visual impairment or a learning disability, especially in relation to expectations of, and needs during, the smart meter installation process.
The research examines attitudes towards the installation process, expectations of the installation journey, and practical recommendations about approaches to delivering the installation journey for audiences with additional barriers.
The independent research company Optimisa Research conducted two stages of research among those with additional barriers. The first stage focused on the impact of additional barriers, whilst the second stage focused on expectations of and attitudes towards the installation process. A total of 217 people took part in focus groups and in-depth interviews across a range of locations in England, Wales and Scotland between November 2016 and February 2017.
Sacha Deshmukh, Chief Executive of Smart Energy GB, said:
“Making sure all consumers, including those with vulnerabilities, have a high quality experience when booking and having their smart meter installation, is something that matters to every energy supplier.
“Earlier this month Citizens Advice published Smart Support – Support for vulnerable consumers in the smart meter rollout, which provided a number of recommendations for additional support that could be delivered to vulnerable consumers through the smart meter installation journey.
“I hope the research that we are publishing today will be a useful further contribution to this thinking, by reporting how consumers with a range of vulnerabilities describe in detail what a high quality installation journey would look like to them.”
Notes to editors
Research into the optimisation of the smart meter installation experience for audiences with additional barriers is available here.
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 is reaching all households and microbusinesses in England, Scotland and Wales.
About smart meters and the rollout
Smart meters replace the traditional meters we currently have in our homes. They enable accurate bills, near real time information on energy use in pounds and pence, and greater control over the way we buy and use energy. The smart meter rollout is an essential technology upgrade, unprecedented in its scale, to improve Great Britain’s energy infrastructure.
Almost 5 million smart meters have already been installed in homes and microbusinesses, and between now and 2020 every household in England, Scotland and Wales will be offered one at no additional cost. Contact your energy supplier today about installing your smart meter.
Optimisa Research is a specialist consumer research agency with particular expertise in the services sector. Established for more than 30 years, Optimisa Research has extensive experience conducting research among a range of consumer audiences, including vulnerable groups.
Smart Energy GB media contacts
For more information including interview requests, case studies of smart meter users, infographics, photography and video content please contact the Smart Energy GB media team:
Lucy Maggs: [email protected] ; 0203 019 1054 / 07747 690 432
Janqui Mehta: [email protected]; 0203 019 1063 / 07715 665 112