Research and practical delivery
SMART-UP was an EU- funded project running across five countries. NEA’s study sought to understand the impact tailored energy advice can have on the active use of a smart meter and in-home display (IHD) to manage energy consumption in vulnerable households. Our research demonstrated that smart meters can benefit vulnerable and low-income households – but in most cases this requires additional support and advice.
The study found that providing advice and support was successful in enabling vulnerable households to engage and understand their smart meter and in-home display, and with increasing the range of purposes for which people used them, as well as the frequencies with which tasks were carried out. Following the interventions householders were much more likely to use their smart meters and accompanying smart energy displays to undertake activities such as checking how much electricity they were using and setting budgets, and there were increases in the percentage of householders who were also making changes to how they used energy at home. The full UK research report is available here and for more information on SMART-UP visit www.smartup-project.eu
energywise – NEA was a partner on the UK Power Networks-led project energywise; exploring how fuel poor customers can benefit from a smart meter and participate in energy saving and demand side response opportunities.
The project successfully installed 230 credit smart meters and 93 prepayment smart meters in the homes of 323 social housing tenants living in the deprived borough of Tower Hamlets in East London. In targeting this group, the project generated valuable learnings on how to engage and support energy consumers identified by previous research as vulnerable to realising benefits from their smart meter and in-home display. Specifically, low income households, social housing tenants, prepayment meter consumers and those who do not speak English proficiently.