The 18-month trial will see smart meters deployed in Glasgow and rural Lochwinnoch, which are considered good examples of hard-to-reach areas for communications to smart meters in rural areas and deep inside buildings in urban areas.
The trial aims to prove the suitability of a long-range radio communications network for connecting smart electricity meters, including in areas that are difficult to reach.
Scottish Power started a trial in 1,000 homes in the Ipswich area in July.
“We are committed to delivering the same high-quality smart metering services to our customers, whether they live in city centres or rural areas,” said Andrew Ward, operations director at Scottish Power. “It is therefore essential that the supporting communications technology is easy to install, reliable and always available.”
The Scottish Power trial is running on a service from SmartReach, a collaboration between Arqiva, BT, BAE Systems Detica and Sensus, which offers an end-to-end data network to support UK smart metering.
The GB Smart Metering Implementation Programme (GB SMIP) is a government project, estimated to cost £11.7bn. The IT that underpins it is set to be one of its biggest challenges.
With a planned 53 million smart meters to be installed in homes and businesses across the UK, the GB SMIP aims to allow gas and electricity consumption to be monitored.
This will provide information to help consumers and businesses use energy more efficiently. The smart meter project promises to reduce bills, cut the UK’s carbon footprint and help energy suppliers to provision better and prevent shortages.