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Elimination of energy bills projections the main advantage of smart meters

Almost 82 percent of Poles pointed out that paying for the actual electricity consumption is more important that having a fixed energy bill. This is also the main advantage of automatic meter reading - such is a conclusion from an opinion poll regarding smart meters conducted at the end of last year by GfK Polonia research agency upon the request of the energy sector.

Paying for the actual electricity consumption allows for better planning of the household budget. What is more, it gives customers a feeling of managing their relationship with electricity suppliers, which is a very important aspect of mutual cooperation - GfK Polonia says. It must be noted that Poles’ awareness regarding smart meters is limited. The respondents were given wealth of information from the interviewers and based on it they indicated features which they considered the most important.

The poll shows that for Poles cost and cost-effectiveness are the key elements in their relation with electricity suppliers - 66 percent of respondents indicated this area as the most important one. Other elements such as: comfort, safety and ecological aspects are of lesser importance. The respondents declared their willingness to change their habits as regards using energy consuming appliances and using them off peak hours (almost 65 percent of respondents). Smart meters will support such changes in habits as the results will be visible in the amounts on energy bills.

- Information flow will allow customers to rationalize their actions and lower their energy bills. A smart meter will allow for having an automatic control over such appliances as washing machines, which could be programmed to work only when the energy is the cheapest. - says Marek Woszczyk, President of the Energy Regulatory Office.

Apart from a more transparent relationship with energy suppliers, the respondents have also underlined that automatic meter reading is more convenient (for 36 percent of respondents, no need for collector’s visits is an advantage) and means a better control over electricity consumption. 14 percent of respondents stressed the technical advantages of installing new meters, mainly such as faster detection of breakdowns and more stable electricity supply, which is especially important in the rural areas.

Almost 25 percent of respondents said that the process of meters replacement has no disadvantages. Only 11 percent expressed some concern over the security of information gathered, which was widely discussed by the media. The social aspect may be more important here - 22 percent of respondents perceive the disappearance of a collector job as a disadvantage.

Poles were also asked of their support regarding energy-saving and pro-ecological initiatives. It is visible that wide social acceptance of energy-saving solutions does not translate into actual actions and purchases. Over 76 percent of respondents said that it is worth buying energy-saving lighting, however, only 28 percent of respondents use such products in their houses. Accordingly, over 66 percent of Poles would be willing to pay more for home appliances and electronics that consume less energy, but only 26 percent of respondents actually have such appliances at home.

For more information about smart energy grids and Warsztaty Rynku Energii (Energy Market Workshops), please visit www.ise.ure.gov.pl (available only in Polish).

The opinion poll was carried out by GfK Polonia research agency on a representative sample N=1000, at the request of Polish Power Transmission and Distribution Association in cooperation with Warsztaty Rynku Energii (Energy Market Workshops) in November and December 2012 on a representative group of Poles, using the direct survey method.

Polish Power Transmission and Distribution Association (PTPiREE) is a sector association of transmission and distribution system operators. It conducts i.a. activities aimed at improving the quality of energy services and developing technologies in Polish energy sector.

Warsztaty Rynku Energii (Energy Market Workshops) were organised on the initiative of the President of the Energy Regulatory Office and the President of Polskie Sieci Elektroenergetyczne S.A. These workshops aim at effective implementation of new technological and organisational solutions into the energy market, to ensure transparency as well as stability of electricity transmission and distribution. The distribution system operators, representatives of energy suppliers and institutions related to the energy market in Poland participate in these workshops.

13.05.2013

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