Smart meter system data can be “game-changer” in net zero race

Organisations should work together to create “free-to-access” data exchanges, maximising the use of analytics, to tackle the challenges of net zero and fuel poverty.

Proposed on 11 March, the Data Communications Company (DCC) explained that such a move would offer secure, free access to system data from its nationwide, secure smart meter platform. The ability to analyse and use granular detail about the smart meter system, together with data from other organisations, could prove a “game-changer” in achieving the UK’s net zero ambitions, it added.

It went on to highlight emerging examples that harnessing a data exchange approach could include, citing how almost half (47%) of households in fuel poverty do not current receive benefits despite energy suppliers investing an estimated £100mn in search costs in a bid to ensure interventions reach those who need it most. Sensitive and appropriate use of pre-payment meter system data could help to rectify this.

Outlining further examples, it said the Energy Systems Catapult has estimated unique insights and cross-network learning that would stem from DCC data could see savings up of up to £2.4bn realised, while integrating datasets could also be used to steer policy, regulation and planning. This would help to assess, for example, the impact of a new energy system, enhance existing models, plan for low carbon heating and aid understanding of how economic events or extreme weather impacts consumer behaviour, supplier switching or interactions with prepayment meters.