New research reveals importance of additional support in engaging vulnerable consumers in smart metering
SMART‐UP is a cross‐European research project funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 grant fund. Running from March 2015 to July 2018, it took place in five European countries and was delivered through a consortium of five partner organisations: Alpheeis in France, Aisfor in Italy, Projects in Motion in Malta, Ecoserveis in Spain, and NEA in the UK. The overarching aim of the project was to understand the impact that tailored energy advice can have on the active use of a smart meter and in‐home display to manage energy consumption in vulnerable households. It did so by developing a training program for installers, social workers and other frontline workers in contact with vulnerable consumers that would enable them to inform their service users about the benefits of smart metering, and to advise them on how to get the most out of their smart meter and IHD. By evaluating the impact of subsequent advice delivery, the project aimed to gather feedback on the ways in which different methods of delivering advice might act to address the specific needs of vulnerable consumers, empower them to engage with their smart meter, and become more energy efficient.