11 May 2009:
‘Smart Meters’ In All UK Homes
The British government has unveiled a plan that will require the installation of ‘smart’ electric meters
in all homes and businesses by 2020. The meters — to be placed in 26 million residences and several million businesses — will give residents real-time digital information on energy consumption and can also be programmed to perform certain tasks, such as charging an electric car, during off-peak hours of energy use. Utilities also can monitor customers’ energy consumption and recommend ways to reduce energy demand. The government said that installation of the smart meters could save 2.5 to 3.6 billion British pounds over the next 20 years. The cost of installation could reach 8 billion pounds, but utilities say they can recoup most of those costs because meter readers will no longer be needed and the practice of estimating utility bills will be stopped. British officials said their program will make the U.K. the largest user of smart meters in the world and called the switchover the “the greatest revolution in energy use” since British Gas converted all the nation’s homes to natural gas in the 1970s.
Yale Environment 360 is
a publication of the
Yale School of Forestry
& Environmental Studies
Yale Environment 360
articles are now available in Spanish and Portuguese on Universia
, the online educational network. Visit the site.
Business & Innovation
Policy & Politics
Pollution & Health
Science & Technology
Antarctica and the Arctic
Central & South America
Photographer Robert Wintner documents the exquisite beauty and biodiversity of Cuba’s coral reefs, which are largely intact thanks to stifled coastal development in the communist nation. View the gallery.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
The Warriors of Qiugang
, a Yale Environment 360
video, chronicles a Chinese village’s fight against a polluting chemical plant. It was nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.
Watch the video.
Top Image: aerial view of Iceland
. © Google & TerraMetrics.
A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.