National Grid's smart meter can take control of your dishwasher  

Posted by Big Gav in ,

The Times has an article on a smart meter rollout in the UK which is anticipating smart appliances - National Grid smart meter can take control of your dishwasher. The model here seems to be that you program the meter to control which appliances turn off when prices rise above a certain level (which is the right way to do it, unlike some appalling plans that let the utility decide when devices are turned on and off).

It will be able to turn on your washing machine remotely, to switch off your tumble dryer and to manage how and when you use your energy supply — and National Grid believes that ultimately it will change the way in which Britain uses its electricity and gas.

OnStream, a National Grid business that supplies meters and meter-reading services for all six energy retailers, has developed a smart meter that can communicate with similarly equipped appliances through Bluetooth-style wireless technology.

Its ability to turn appliances on and off remotely means that customers will be able to choose cheaper “interruptible” tariffs and run their appliances at the most economic time, which will help to balance energy demand.

Steve Holliday, the chief executive of National Grid, said: “We believe that this meter is what the industry has been waiting for.”

National Grid had feared that energy companies were pushing smart meters out too quickly and that the new kit would not be able to communicate with all aspects of the smart grid. However, Mr Holliday said, National Grid’s own equipment was “future-proof” and had been designed to exacting standards set down by energy consumers and the energy retailers that are the Grid’s customers. ...

The Grid has also designed a touchscreen display unit that will present energy consumption information in a relevant and useful way. The meter can also send updates to a smartphone or be read remotely on the internet. The meters can operate in a credit mode, where customers pay in lieu by direct debit, in a pre-payment mode or in a pay-as-you-go mode, as with a mobile phone.

OnStream will run trials of 2,000 meters for six months from the summer. The company installs and services four million meters for all six energy suppliers and hopes to maintain this market share as smart meters are deployed across the country.

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