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The brief

In 2015, Citizens Advice Scotland appointed a consortium led by CAG Consultants and involving Changeworks and the University of Edinburgh, to investigate the progress of the smart meter rollout in Scotland.

The objective of the project was to identify the key benefits of smart meters to Scottish consumers (and particularly vulnerable households) and any barriers to realising those benefits, and to develop recommendations for overcoming those barriers.

How we delivered the project

A wide-ranging research programme was carried out to explore the progress of the smart meter rollout in Scotland.  This involved a thorough literature review (conducted with academic partner Edinburgh University), a series of stakeholder interviews, an omnibus survey, and a stakeholder workshop.

Objectives achieved

The final report, Taking stock of the smart meter rollout, outlines a robust set of recommendations for maximising the benefits of smart meters for Scottish households.  The research found that there was a strong case for extending the rollout deadline, minimising the installation of SMETS1 meters in the homes of vulnerable households, and extensive support for increased partnership working to ensure vulnerable households are provided with advice and support to enable them to benefit from their smart meter.

Buy-in to the proposals was gained through a workshop attended by a range of stakeholders, including the Scottish Government, which resulted in the proposals being fine-tuned in line with stakeholders’ suggestions.  The recommendations were also presented at a CFU Scotland energy efficiency conference in June 2016.