Smart meter saves less energy then expected

From a recent Dutch research of the Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving (PBL), it shows that households in The Netherlands that have a smart meter installed save less energy than was expected. The savings amount less than 1%, while the expectation was that households would use about 3,5% less energy.

Actually, that result is not so bad. Because in The Netherlands, in contradiction to the UK, one does not automatically get a display that shows your energy consumption pattern. You have to pay extra to get an in-home display installed, and not many people will make that investment.

25% of the households now have a smart meter, but who is going to look at it? These devices are hidden somewhere in the meter closet. That one percent savings will have to come from the bi-monthly reports that the energy suppliers send to the owners of a smart meter. But those reports do not say anything about the high energy consumption levels of that appliance you used yesterday.

The PBL now comes with an advice to change the policy and start experimenting with the use of in-home displays. That's little late, folks. It also makes one wonder about user testing beforehand; surely this would have showed?