Smart surge boosts utilities’ public image
Trend may not survive continued rollout ramp up suggests You Gov
The number of smart meters installed in UK homes has doubled since the start of 2016 at the same time as perceptions of utility company reliability and professionalism have seen a slight rise.
The findings come from data collected by market research firm You Gov. Since January 2016 the proportion of UK homes with smart meters has risen from 8 per cent to 16 per cent said You Gov.
Meanwhile, the proportion of consumers that considered energy suppliers to be “reliable” increased from 26 to 29 per cent, and those rating them as “professional” rose from 17 to 20 per cent.
You Gov noted however that its consumer perceptions data was collected before a recent round of energy price rises from suppliers.
Furthermore, Tom Rees, director of You Gov reports cast doubt on the ability of firms to maintain a positive trend in consumer perceptions as the smart meter rollout continues to pick up pace.
“Whether both the acceleration in smart meter adoption and the improvement in public perception can be maintained remains to be seen,” he said, “especially since the issue of prices is now back on the news agenda.”
You Gov’s data resonates with the findings of a survey conducted by Utility Week and research partner Harris Interactive.
This survey showed that 76 per cent of consumers with smart meters are positive about the service and technical skills of the installers. The same proportion were happy with the information they received about how to use their smart meter and 97 per cent said they found the installation experience straightforward.