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December 23, 2014

UK consumers worried smart meters pose cybercrime risk

30% think smart meter technology is at risk of hacking and cybercrime.

By Ellie Burns

A new study by SQS has revealed that UK consumers are wary of how safe smart meter technology is, with many concerned that the increased levels of data on offer to suppliers is the main reason for the move.

The study of UK consumers by YouGov, shows that 30% are worried that smart meter technology is at risk of hacking and cybercrime.

Over a third (37%) is convinced that smart metering will benefit energy suppliers the most from the installation of smart meters, with just 28% saying it will be the consumer. 56% agree that the draw of additional customer data is the real reason for the change.

27% think that their energy supplier’s track record of inaccurate billing, poor customer service and delays in problem fixing don’t augur well for success with smart meter implementation.

52% would welcome services, tariffs and offers that reflect how they actually use energy as well as improved, personalised customer support (22%).

"The smart meter roll out is a wake-up call for established energy providers," says Angus Panton, Director of Power and Communications at SQS. "Our study shows that consumers want targeted, value-added services and greater control over their energy use, but don’t always trust their existing provider to deliver."

"There is widespread cynicism about the viability of big IT projects and 62 per cent doubt smart metering will happen in the shifting timeframes. Despite the cynicism, there is an overall customer desire for the advantages and benefits smart meters will deliver."

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"The new smart world will generate large volumes of data and for established suppliers it is vital they have the high performing, integrated infrastructure in place to capture, secure and make the most of the real-time data they generate, all day, every day."

"Now is the time to test everything, and then test it again – or to turn to the experts who can test it for you. There won’t be a second chance to get this right."


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