The UK Government is committed to the installation of new energy meters in all homes and small businesses by the end of 2020.
The standard installation should include new gas and electricity smart meters, an In-Home Display (IHD), and a communications hub. These devices will communicate via a Home Area Network (HAN). Suppliers are required to make consumption and tariff information available to the consumer via the HAN. This will allow consumers to see energy information on their IHD and potentially link other devices.
At present suppliers are required to offer all domestic consumers an IHD where they install a smart metering system. This has been a requirement from the beginning since the estimated benefits of the programme are primarily predicated on savings to be made by consumers using this display to moderate their behaviour.
However, it is suggested that other forms of feedback, such as the integration of smart meter data into tablets, smart phones or televisions, could provide additional benefits.
At present the requirement to offer an IHD does not preclude suppliers from offering other tools in addition to the IHD but the Government wants to ensure that these alternatives are seen as additional, until and unless there is robust evidence that they can offer the same level of engagement as the IHD is believed to provide.
There is a current consultation on how the Government could facilitate supplier trials of “alternative energy consumption engagement tools” as a way of generating such evidence