The current rollout of smart meters for gas and electricity, both in the UK and internationally, will help suppliers to better forecast demand and supply accurate bills to consumers. However, even with an in-home display (IHD), the benefits of a smart meter to a domestic customer are limited by the so-called ‘double invisibility’ of energy  and the standardisation of IHD design for an imagined home ‘micro-resource manager’ . Furthermore, low-income households may be limited in the benefits they can reap from such systems; already living within a tight budget, suggestions for further energy-related cost savings may be detrimental to their health and wellbeing. This makes it important that the impact of actions taken to save energy is communicated. This can be done using indoor environmental measures, including carbon dioxide, relative humidity and temperature, as part of an integrated meter and sensor system (IMSS) and an associated IHD or digital application. Such a system gives users the ability to make informed decisions about their energy use and indoor environmental health. This paper explores the potential barriers to implementing an IMSS in practice. It explains how an IMSS was designed, based on a review of meter and sensor systems; details the process is taken to trial the IMSS in 19 social housing properties in the English Midlands; and makes recommendations for a larger scale rollout of IMSSs. The paper also reviews current progress in cloud storage and security as relevant to IMSSs and smart metering.
- Integrated meter and sensor system
- Social housing