Power to the people: Smart meters under user control as the first building block for a trustworthy 21st Century Infrastructure

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The Conservative Technology Forum has just released its first policy paper since the last election. It is on Smart Meters, where there is a need to revert to the original industry proposals put forward by "Sustainability First" in 2006 and ditch the unnecessarily expensive and now unaffordable plans inherited from Ed Milliband's 2009 White paper. The full press release is below but the paper is about rather more than smart meters. It is also about an approach to using market forces to draw in private sector investment to create a joined up 21st Century Infrastructure for a world of ubiquitous computing - the internet of things. I recommend you also read the full report. The follow up studies ...     
Will address more of the issues - but first the full text of the press release

Power to the People                                                                         

Conservative Technology Forum Energy Group launches smart metering paper

London, UK, 3rd April 2013, the Conservative Technology Forum (CTF) Energy Group has launched this first paper in response to a meeting with Charles Hendry, MP, in April 2012. The Group has brought together interested parties from suppliers, consumers, standards bodies and politics to formulate the paper. This has been presented to Baroness Verma and the Group hopes to hold a meeting with the Minister in the near future.


"We have to turn the approach to smart metering on its head and emphasise the benefits to early adopters" says the Andrew Henderson, Co-Chair of the Energy Group, introducing the Conservative Technology Forum policy proposals in their paper: Power to the people. "The policy will fail unless adoption is encouraged by giving choice and the ability to better control their spend to consumers and more certainty of return to lead investors. This does not require a change to the commitment to roll out. But it does require change to presentation and priorities."  


As Energy Minister, Ed Miliband, rejected proposals put forward by Sustainability First in 2006 for a market-led pilot, based on consumer choice. We would encourage the current government to look again at a market-led approach, addressing consumers' concerns over cost and giving suppliers the incentive to invest to avoid the rationing processes, implicit in Labour's plans, having to be used.


The three pre-conditions to success are:


  • Consumer engagement,


  • Investor engagement


  • Inter-operability standards



The paper does not suggest changing the commitment to the roll-out of smart meters. The route and timetable have, however, changed over time. The economic climate has changed. Pressures on customer (business as well as consumer) budgets have increased sharply since Conservative policy was last published as part of the "Rebuilding Security" policy document. It is also important to remember that smart meters are not an end in themselves. Their value depends on ubiquitous broadband, smart grid and smart infrastructure so that we can all make effective use of the information they generate.


"I am very pleased to have helped the Energy Group get this paper off the ground. A tremendous effort has been put in by people from both the consumer groups and industry. This represents a great step forward in what we all want to be a successful project," commented Laura Sandys MP and first Co-Chair of the Group.


A four page management summary of the full paper is available at www.conservative-technology.org

The full paper is available at www.conservative-technology.org. For more information contact: andrew.henderson@wychwoodconsultingltd.co.uk


Press contact:

Andrew Henderson, Co-Chair, Energy Group, Conservative Technology Forum
Tel: 01256 861 813
Mob: 07780975696

Email: AHende1006@aol.com

Conservative Technology Forum, c/o Conservative European Parliament Office, Europe House, 32 Smith Square, London SW1P 3HH

Email: secretary@conservative-technology.org www.conservative-technology.org

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This page contains a single entry by Philip Virgo published on April 4, 2013 11:03 AM.

A case study in regulatory hypocrisy: Google tried to produce a privacy policy that users can understand and .... was the previous entry in this blog.

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