Amidst mounting concerns over the security of smart meters, Elster has announced that it has secured the contract for providing as many as 300,000 smart meters to the UK energy company, E.ON. These will be dual-fuel meters that are intended to help consumers control the amount of energy being used.
Because of Elster’s prominence in the metering technology market, it should come as no surprise that they beat out the competition for the contract from one of the UK’s “big six,” E.ON. Although the exact terms of the smart meter deal have not as yet been disclosed, Elster did announce that they had signed the deal for the initial phase of the smart meter rollout with as many as 100,000 of these high-tech meters for residential properties being installed before the end of this year. In the coming year as many as 200,000 Elster smart meters are expected to be installed as well for E.ON residential customers.
Elster has announced that the AS300P Smart Meters along with modular communications hubs for electricity and the BK-G4E Smart Meters for gas have been contracted because they meet or exceed current industry standards for security and data privacy. This has been an ongoing concern, especially after recent FBI warnings in the United States indicate that fraudsters have been able to tamper with smart meters’ ability to accurately record usage. Based on findings of these investigations prompted by FB I warnings, industry standards have become much more rigid. The projected goal is to have at least one million smart meters installed by 2014 and government wants all businesses and residences to be fitted with this technology by the year 2019.
Just a few days prior to the Elster’s announcement that it had secured the E.ON contract, Ofgem release the findings of the very first assessment methodology for determining whether any particular area would benefit from smart grid technologies. This particular methodology is entitled Smart Grid Evaluation Framework, and it is being applauded as a vital step towards protecting the interests of UK consumers when determining whether to use conventional or smart grid network solutions. At issue is whether or not investment in smart grids provides benefits over conventional networks.
According to the director of new business at E.ON, Don Leiper, this deal represents the company’s commitment towards providing their customers with the necessary tools to control the amount of energy used. With the ever-increasing cost of fuel it is essential to give consumers more control over how and where they will utilize energy. Those consumers who would like a head start in reaping the benefits of smart metering will now be able to do so. Those consumers who already have smart meters have expressed their pleasure with the technology as it has placed them in complete control over their energy expenditures as they are no longer reliant on estimated bills and pay only for actual energy consumed.