CIED ended in February 2019. This website is now archived and will be no longer updated.

The smart meter rollout: progress and challenges ahead

This event brings together a panel of experts and key stakeholders involved in the smart meter rollout to examine the progress that has been made to date, and to explore how the smart meter rollout  might be accelerated. We will hear a variety of perspectives and offer a stimulating discussion about the future of smart meters in the United Kingdom.

Sign up on Eventbrite (free but spaces are limited)


10:00 – 10:30     Arrival & Refreshments

10:30 – 10:40     Introduction by Professor Benjamin Sovacool, Director, Sussex Energy Group

10:40 – 10:50     Presentation by Fflur Lawton, Head of Policy and Communications Wales, Smart Energy GB

10:50 – 11:00     Presentation by Chris Harris, Head of Regulation, Npower

11:00 – 11:10     Presentation by David Weatherall, Head of Policy, Energy Saving Trust

11:10 – 11:20    Presentation by Colin Griffiths, Policy Manager – Smart Metering & Smart Homes, Citizens Advice

11:20 – 12:00     Audience Q&A and discussion

12:00 – 13:00     Lunch

13:00     End of event



Smart meters can help users better manage their energy consumption by giving them real time information on their energy use. Not only can they help customers save money, they can also reduce energy demand, and thus carbon emissions Gas and electricity suppliers in England, Wales and Scotland are required to take all reasonable steps to roll out smart meters to all domestic and small business customers by the end of 2020.

However, the rollout has been hit by delays and rising costs and there are growing worries that the rollout will not meet the deadline of 2020.

The Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand (CIED) at the University of Sussex carried out a three year research project on the rollout of smart meters in Great Britain. The project investigated how their diffusion can be accelerated, what the visions and expectations of different actors have been around the rollout, and how these have been embedded in policy.


Fflur Lawton


Fflur Lawton, Head of Policy and Communications, Wales, Smart Energy GB

Fflur leads our policy and communications work in Wales. She has 15 years of experience working in communications and was previously Head of Communications at the Big Lottery Fund. Fflur is an experienced public speaker and is fluent in Welsh.





Chris Harris


Chris Harris, Head of Regulation, Npower

Chris is head of Regulation at Npower and executive fellow at London business school. He has written four textbooks on economics in electricity. His principal interest is how smart meters and grids will enable the low carbon transition, with electrification of heat and transport, with no one left behind.





David Weatherall

David Weatherall, Head of Policy, Energy Saving Trust/Director at Future Climate

David Weatherall has worked for 15 years on policy in domestic energy efficiency, working closely with nearly all major government, NGO and commercial sector stakeholders in this area of policy.  Starting his career working in the Energy Efficiency Partnership  for Homes, David has produced several high profile pieces of research on issues around fuel poverty, carbon reduction and housing. He is particularly proud of  work to make the case for increased government action on cold homes in the private rented sector.





Colin Griffiths

Colin Griffiths, Policy Manager – Smart Metering and Smart Homes, Citizens Advice

Colin Griffiths is the policy manager for smart metering and smart homes at Citizens Advice, the statutory consumer watchdog for energy consumers. He has worked on the smart meter rollout for several years with a particular focus on the consumer experience and attitudes. He has previously worked on the delivery of online and digital services for consumers and community and public service provision.






Benjamin Sovacool

Benjamin Sovacool, Director, Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand/Sussex Energy Group, Professor of Energy Policy, SPRU, University of Sussex

Professor Sovacool works as a researcher and consultant on issues pertaining to energy policy, energy security, climate change mitigation, and climate change adaptation. More specifically, his research focuses on renewable energy and energy efficiency, the politics of large-scale energy infrastructure, designing public policy to improve energy security and access to electricity, and building adaptive capacity to the consequences of climate change.  Benjamin is also Co-PI of the INNOPATHS (Innovation Pathways, Strategies and Policies for the Low-Carbon Transition in Europe) research project.