Cable & Wireless Worldwide have hooked up with
smart meter manufacturer Current Group to compete for a slice of the UK’s £7bn smart
The move throws down the gauntlet to mobile operators
including Everything Everywhere, O2 and Vodafone, which are all vying to provide
network services for the smart meter programme. BT has also thrown its hat in
the ring with its recent deal with Arqiva and Detica.
The Coalition Government
announced last August that it would speed up the delivery of 50 million smart
meters to every household in Britain,
pledging to complete the roll out by 2017, three years faster than planned by
the previous Government.
Last week, the Government
announced the programme will be directly managed by the Department of Energy
and Climate Change (DECC) rather than industry regulator Ofgem, citing the
scale of the programme as the reason. The watchdog will develop the regulatory
framework underpinning the roll out.
The smart meter programme
is seen as a crucial part of the UK’s plans to cut carbon emission
and an important step towards the development of smart grids. Smart grids are
expected to improve network efficiency and responsiveness, allow greater use of
renewable energy and allow energy companies to remotely control non-essential
domestic appliances at times of peak energy demand.