The next two decades will bring many challenges — not least climate change, geopolitical tensions and addressing inequality. Yet, at the same time, a range of revolutionary technologies are set to change much of our lives for the better.
Campaign group Smart Energy GB commissioned Foresight Factory, a team of consumer trend experts focusing on the future, to look at how everyday UK residents might go about their lives in 2035. In particular, we wanted to map the sustainability, technology and energy trends that could shape their lives — and the role of smart meters in unlocking these.
The report predicts that, in 15 years, many of us will live in fully-automated smart homes, where innovations typically seen in sci-fi films — like domestic robots — are commonplace. Our lives will be supported by a vast array of sensors that, with our consent, connect to an ever-learning AI network. This will then adjust our home heating and devices in a way that supports our health and comfort.
These technologies will transform how we run our homes. Getting caught out by a broken washing machine may well be consigned to the past, as our home uses energy data patterns — available from our smart meter — to predict when an appliance might fail. With AI capabilities, the device in question may even arrange its own repair.
This transformation doesn’t end in our kitchens and living rooms. Our whole energy system will be radically changed, giving us unprecedented authority over how we consume power. Advances in renewable energy will combine with smaller, localised energy grids to provide cheap and efficient power to millions. Individual households will be able to generate, store and even sell their energy — thanks to smart meter data.
This smart-enabled future will have significant benefits for vulnerable and low-income consumers who might otherwise struggle in the transition to sustainability. From rent discounts for responsible energy usage to generating additional income from peer-to-peer energy supply, these innovations could make fuel poverty a thing of the past.
In a smart home, older citizens will benefit from wearable technology that connects with other devices — including their smart meter — to monitor their health and wellbeing. The network will know when a sudden change in energy usage could be an indicator of a bigger health issue — and be able to take action where necessary.
For younger generations this seemingly futuristic world will be second nature, giving them additional tools to embrace sustainability and combat climate change. 3D-printed, low-carbon apartments will provide more affordable and sustainable homes, while smart data will create tailored incentives, such as consumer discounts, for environmentally-friendly behaviours.
At the centre of all of these aspects of our green future is one single device: the smart meter. This simple, secure and reliable device will be the linchpin of this improved energy system, providing the necessary data so that all devices understand the household’s energy usage and can optimise their processes based on that information.
But while the smart meter can unlock all these future possibilities, it is also helping us embrace sustainability — and new technologies — right now. By adopting smart meters, consumers across the country are not only helping to build a better energy system, but are also saving time and money, whilst making our society more green, sustainable and efficient.
A smart meter in each home is part of the solution that will make this exciting world possible. Help build that future – today.