Dr. Howard Porter, CEO of the British Electrotechnical and Allied Manufacturers Association (BEAMA) (www.beama.org.uk), recently commented on the UK government's publication of rules for consumer engagement, privacy and security for the smart meter program.

“The smart meter rollout will give UK consumers the information they need to control their energy use. It's therefore vital that the benefits to consumer are at the heart of the programme,” he said in a BEAMA press release. “Our members, who will be supplying a large proportion of the equipment used in the roll out, are committed to provide products that are easily understood by consumers, allow them to control their privacy, and are secure.

“The smart meter rollout is a fantastic opportunity to support UK householders in minimizing their fuel bills as well as creating thousands of much-needed jobs making and installing the meters. The rollout will also provide future growth opportunities as manufacturers develop new products that integrate with smart meters to deliver extra benefits to the consumer, such as smarter heating systems, management of electrical appliances, and integration of other low-carbon technologies. The rollout will be a major investment in our energy system, and producing and installing 53 million meters in five years will be a challenge, but one that our industry relishes. We are determined to get it right.”

BEAMA's members include manufacturers of the smart meters in home displays and communication hubs that will be provided in every smart meter installation. The association directly represents about 150 companies in the UK electrotechnical and allied manufacturing industries.