Making a difference
The big challenge in creating a sustainable future is creating awareness that it’s not just governments that make changes, but individual behaviour as well. The Smart Meter, being developed at The Power Electronics team at Swansea University's School of Engineering, is the kind of technology that will help guide green behaviour.
‘There are smart metering systems already out there,’ said Richard Lewis, a researcher on the team. ‘The main difference between ours and most of those on the market is that it breaks down consumption a lot more than the other meters. A lot of the meters on the market just monitor the entire consumption. You don’t really get a breakdown of where the electricity is going within your property which, if you are trying to reduce your consumption, is no good.’
Encouraging sustainable consumption requires thinking about how the information is presented. ‘One of the things we highlighted,’ says Lewis, ‘was the fact that the information needed to be presented to the user in a more user-friendly way. We looked at a number of different ways of displaying information; and what people really want to see is how much it costs them in ‘real’ money. It’s effectively ‘per second’ billing, like you would see an itemised bill for your mobile phone.’
Go online now for the full article and pictures on Smart Green Meter in the December Green edition of cubed: www.britishcouncil.org/science-cubed.htm
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