The Smart Opportunity

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The UK government is unrelenting in its pursuit of the benefits it expects UK Plc to derive from the deployment of 53 million Smart Meters to 30 million premises by 2020. Energy Retailers are all too aware of the challenges this ambition brings. Yet the costs of this programme will be borne by the shareholders and customers of the Energy Retailers and financed by their Meter Asset Providers (MAPs).

At Foresight Metering, a second-generation provider of MAP services, we asked the simple question, "What would help?”

Energy Retailers were very clear and consistent in their responses:

  • Lower the cost of finance for our customers and shareholders.

Once the rollout begins, customers and the media will become very aware of the costs, of which MAP charges will form a sizeable proportion. The first generation MAP market was narrow with limited competition leaving Energy Retailers as price takers not makers. Now, Energy Retailers on behalf of their customers are challenging their MAPs: "make it cheaper”

  • Work with us not against us.

This same narrow MAP market left the Energy Retailers little choice on terms. The first generation MAPs dictated risk ownership, minimum volumes, hard timelines and setup costs for Energy Retailers. In the real world, the Data Communications Company (‘DCC’) may be delayed, meter manufacturers may fail to deliver and, installation costs may be higher. Energy Retailers asked, "Help us to solve these problems, don’t add to them.”

  • Share our values.

Energy retail is a low margin business built on long term relationships and transparency, not the speculative world of fast trades, hidden commercials and fat returns.

  • One less risk to worry about.

Although the business operations of a MAP never directly impact or interact with the customer – MAPs need to ensure the operational business is there to handle the details, as there will be plenty of other things demanding the Energy Retailer’s attention during the ramp up.

Foresight Metering has achieved a 20-30% reduction in the costs compared to bank-backed first generation MAPs with a flexible and transparent commercial approach. The Foresight Metering business will be supported by an outsourced administration contract with Utility Funding which is an established MAP of advanced and smart meters which has seven years of experience, manages circa 10% of the installed base of the industrial and commercial (I&C) advanced meter market today, and has meters on rental with 50 Energy Retailers operating from Salisbury.

Foresight Metering would like to play our part in helping the UK Smart Metering programme succeed for you, your shareholders and your customers.