Half of all the homes in Britain are now connected to the national secure smart meter network, which is operated and maintained by the Data Communications Company (DCC). The 15 millionth home was connected to the network at 1:56am on 21st February by British Gas at a property in Kent.
The network now supports almost 25 million meters in 15 million homes, and is becoming one of the most far-reaching communications technologies in the country.
The milestone gives the DCC platform a greater reach than full-fibre broadband. Digitised metering is also one of the most prevalent energy technologies available: 10 times as many households have a smart meter as have solar panels installed.
Connected homes on the DCC network get the fullest benefit from their smart meters, as their consumption data enables a flexible energy grid making the best possible use of renewables. Smart meters enable homes to take advantage of new tariffs that incentivise cutting energy usage at key times, while also being able to switch energy suppliers without losing smart functionality.
An official conservative estimate based on the average savings of each meter on the DCC network shows that they are helping reduce Britain’s carbon emissions by an estimated 725,000 tonnes every year. The energy saved every year by meters on the DCC network would be enough to power the entire county of Cornwall.
There are now 14.5 million second-generation meters, and 10.3 million first-generation meters connected to the DCC network. Every month more than 1.3 billion messages are sent across the network – a 71% increase on the data carried last year.
Data Communications Company CEO, Angus Flett, said:
“We’re thrilled that the DCC network now reaches half of all homes in Britain. This platform is helping 15 million households understand their energy usage better, while also opening up access to new smart tariffs and energy saving incentives.
“We’re delivering on our purpose, which is to make Britain more connected so people can live smarter, greener lives.”
Progress in connecting older meters
Many first-generation smart meters in Britain were unable to switch energy suppliers without losing functionality, and stopped sending automatic meter readings. The DCC was asked to prioritise bringing these older meters onto its network by updating their software “over the air” without the need for an engineer visit. More than 10 million of these first-generation smart meters have now been connected to the DCC’s network, extending the working life of the devices and restoring the full benefits of smart metering for consumers.
Join Angus Flett and DCC in discussion about the UK’s more connected future at this year’s live Connected North event