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Bristol rolls out smart meters in 3,000 council flats

Bristol City Council completes the installation of smart meter technology across a number of its social housing properties

Bristol has become the first social landlord in the UK to switch its estate over to digital smart metering technology, giving council tenants more control over their heat and water use, cutting bills and fuel poverty across the city.

The City Council has recently completed a major roll-out across 3,000 of its homes in 50 blocks, teaming up with Integral UK to fit smart meters from Brunata, a Danish energy technology supplier.

The system itself consists of heat-cost allocators that communicate remotely, replacing manually read evaporation heat meters and water meters.

It connects to the council’s communal heating systems, which provide heat to social housing from local energy centres. At the same time, it is replacing its existing boilers in these centres with a combination of new and more efficient gas boilers and biomass boilers.

Bristol City Council is currently running a number of initiatives to reduce fuel poverty in Bristol, of which the smart meter scheme forms one element.

Its tenants will be able to monitor their own heat and water use online or via digital displays on the meters and allocators. The council claimed this had been shown to motivate people to think more carefully about what they were consuming.

Bristol mayor George Ferguson, a keen advocate of smart city initiatives, commented: “Bristol is again leading the way for others with the installation of this modern system. It will give our tenants more control over what they spend, and every bit of help towards saving on bills is a step towards alleviating social inequality and fuel poverty.”

“By encouraging tenants to use less energy, they will also be making their own contribution to reducing carbon emissions and wastage – two important aims of the city during European Green Capital and beyond.”

It is hoped the scheme will cut down on inaccurate estimated bills generated when meter readers cannot gain access to a property, alleviating the anxiety that can be faced when confronted with an inaccurate bill, and cutting down on the administrative costs incurred by the council when remedying such problems.

The council is highlighting its smart meter initiative at the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference – COP21 – taking place in Paris. xxx xxxxxx xxxxxxx

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