The company said that smart meters are the next generation of electricity and gas meters, which will provide customers with real time information about the energy they are using, how much it is costing them and the impact they are having on the environment.

The first meters are being installed in homes in Alyth, UK, as part of Scottish Hydro Electric’s long-term energy reduction trial. This trial, in association with Alyth Environmental Group (AEG) and Save Cash and Reduce Fuel (SCARF), also involves the use of a wide range of energy efficiency measures with the aim of helping the entire community cut its energy use by 10% over the next two years, the company said.

According to the company, the smart meters being installed will gather information about both gas and electricity. The information will be communicated back to the company so that it is able to collate a community-wide picture of Alyth’s usage. This information will help track the community’s progress in reducing its energy consumption over the two-year project.

Ian Marchant, CEO of Scottish and Southern Energy, said: We firmly believe that there must be radical changes in the way that energy is produced and consumed. Ongoing investment in green energy needs to be balanced with the development of new technology that gives customers practical help to reduce their energy consumption.