Friday, 16 January 2009

Accenture speaks highly of Eric Beattie's smart meter

Accenture expects the work of a Scottish telecoms engineer related to consumer energy conservation to make "further inroads into the mass market in 2009".

Eric Beattie designed the smart meter to use as a communications device to interact with pre-paid utility meters. Beattie's invention would allow consumers to access their accounts remotely to add more funds.

As highlighted, the device was originally conceived as using communications equipment to interact with prepayment meters to allow customers to top-up their meter remotely. But smart meters, currently undergoing consumer trials throughout the UK, are seen as a potentially revolutionary aid to carbon reduction, as they allow householders and businesses to monitor closely in real time how much energy they are currently consuming and at what cost.

Accenture believes that "as the energy industry faces up to ever-deeper cuts in carbon emissions over the coming decades, the installation of smart meters in customers' homes is becoming increasingly important because of its potential to change consumers' behaviour and reduce energy consumption."

"At the same time, the parallel need to improve security of supply is adding to the momentum behind smart metering as a tool to manage consumption and facilitate the deployment of local domestic generation devices such as wind turbines, solar cells. With these needs in mind, energy suppliers are piloting and implementing smart meters at an accelerating rate."

Adrian Clamp, head of Accenture's utilities, oil and gas, and chemicals division in Scotland, told "They are important because they change the way the consumer can access info to drive down spend. They get far more intelligence - something that clips on to the metering infrastructure - but typically also a display screen that shows how much they are using."

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