Smart meters help you keep an eye on energy consumption, and now they’re being used to help check the cause of any local power cuts.
UK Power Networks, the electricity distributor for London, the South East and East of England, is now using information from the meters to better support customers if they experience a power cut.
People usually ring 105, or go online to report a power cut to UK Power Networks, but the company can now check smart meters using a ‘ping’ function allowing them to quickly see if the property has;
- A power cut requiring UK Power Networks engineer to attend
- A problem with internal fuses at the property requiring an electrician to attend, or
- A problem with the meter needing the energy supplier to assist.
Since December 2020, the company has assisted 25% of all customers with a smart meter and aim to increase this over the next year.
Currently there are 3.36 million homes (43%) with a smart meter installed across London, South-East and East of England. UK Power Networks forecasts that by May 2024 this will rise to 6.8m smart meters – which will allow it to provide extra support for customers, and in particular vulnerable customers on its Priority Services Register, where the firm can give then specific assistance in relation to the problem that is identified at their property. The company would also make proactive calls to its most vulnerable customers and then activate any support that would be relevant.
Saleem Naeem, smart network operations manager at UK Power Networks, says: “This new system means we can adopt an agile approach to improving customer service and response time. It helps us investigate the cause of power cuts and know if an engineer needs to visit, and it speed up the response for customers. Having this greater understanding will help us to effectively adapt to new demands on the network, and subsequently support the government’s net zero target by allowing customers with a smart meter to better minimise waste and reduce their bills.”