A new report published today predicts that smart meters are laying the groundwork for many future innovations in the energy, mobility, healthcare, AI industries, and even tackling fuel poverty.
The Future Smart Energy Consumer, written by Foresight Factory and commissioned by Smart Energy GB, investigates how smart meters are laying the groundwork for many future innovations.
It explores how the smart, innovative products and services – enabled by an efficient energy system underpinned by smart meters – could dramatically change how consumers live their lives in the next 15 years.
How will life be different in 2035?
- Generation Alpha is predicted to live in 3D printed, low carbon apartments.
- A seismic shift in energy, mobility, healthcare, and AI will happen over the next two decades.
- Families could eat meals designed by AI, with robots to do their domestic chores.
- There could be support for households to generate, store and sell their energy.
- AI-powered botanic measurement systems could help us grow exotic fruits and vegetables which aren’t native to the UK.
- A smart meter installed in each home now will help make this exciting future possible.
By 2035, the report predicts that some individuals may be living in fully automated smart homes.
Moreover, innovations currently seen in sci-fi films are expected to be commonplace within these households, such as domestic robots and security drones.
An array of sensors that detect individual indicators like body temperature will be linked to an ever-learning AI. This system will adjust the home environment to a consistently comfortable temperature.
For example, the smart home will understand the digital signature of different appliances and use energy data patterns from the householder’s smart meter to predict when the machine will fail.
How Smart meters could be tackling fuel poverty
The report speculates that power and authority over energy could change dramatically.
- Renewable energy is predicted to be joined with smaller, more local energy grids to provide cheap and efficient power.
- Support for individual households and communities will enable them to generate, store and sell their own energy.
- Vulnerable and low-income consumers in this smart-enabled future could have a range of tools and services at their disposal to take advantage of new opportunities.
- Rent discounts for responsible management of their energy and water use
- Saving money or generating income through peer-to-peer energy selling
- Free or subsidised home battery storage
- Automated energy-saving programmes
- Energy supplier switching
- New government support schemes (such as hot weather payments)
These are some of the opportunities provided to vulnerable customers and could be critical steps towards eliminating fuel poverty.
A greener lifestyle could be achievable
The report also investigates how Generation Alpha – those who are due to reach adulthood by 2035 – may experience a very different world from their parents.
With an increasing need to look at homeownership alternatives, this generation will pivot to more sustainable solutions. One such option will be to live in shared 3D printed, low carbon apartments.
With climate change, an ever-growing threat, the secure use of data can also enable them to live a greener lifestyle.
The data could be generating tailored incentives for environmentally-friendly behaviours and rewards for living sustainably.
These brand-new opportunities will be available from smart meter data and smart-enabled products and services.
They will help people live sustainably while collectively addressing the climate emergency.
Smart meters and wellbeing
Meanwhile, older citizens could also benefit from this smarter future. They could be using advances in wearable technology and new modes of living. With explicit consent, datasets could interconnect and provide an accurate picture of their wellbeing.
- Smart bracelets that measure bodily indicators of health.
- Changes in energy consumption patterns, identified by smart meter data, could indicate a more significant health issue.
All this information would provide an additional lens to assess and greatly improve wellbeing, particularly for older or vulnerable consumers.
The future we create today
Underpinning this whirlwind of innovation will be an efficient energy system, enabled by the smart meters we all have installed today.
Consequently, the current rollout of these devices to households across Great Britain is a vital part of this greener, more sustainable, and resilient future.
About smart meters and the rollout
Smart meters are the next generation of digital gas and electricity meters. They provide automatic meter readings and near-real-time energy use information for households.
As a result, customers can effectively reduce their energy usage and make the best and most efficient wind and solar power use.
In fact, every household in Britain will be offered a smart meter by 2025, regardless of whether you are a homeowner, rent or have a prepay meter.
To request your smart meter, contact your energy supplier – they are FREE.
Smart Energy GB is the not-for-profit, government-backed campaign helping everyone in Britain to understand the importance of smart meters and their benefits to people and the environment.
The images published under permission by Smart Energy GB. Do not copy without permission.