New Accessible in-home displays (AIHDs) for smart meters for energy customers who are blind and visually impaired are expected to be available next year.
Trade body Energy UK, smart meter display manufacturer Geo and the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) have been working with energy suppliers to bring the benefits of the technology to more people.
The new smart meters come with an in-home display that shows customers how much energy they have used and how much it costs. The AHID will feature “high-contrast, tactile buttons and speech output” and it is being tested by blind and visually impaired user groups to provide feedback and guidance to shape the overall design specification. The units will be ready for testing with energy suppliers later this year and available for customers in the first half of 2019.
“Everyone who wants a smart meter should be able to feel the benefits so it’s great to see this innovative collaboration to support blind and partially sighted consumers to take control of their energy use,” Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry said. “With access to accurate information, consumers will be able to take control of their energy use and save money on their bills. This is just one example of how smart meters, the cornerstone of a smarter, energy system fit for the future, will help shape the way we all live for the better.”
The government recently announced first generation smart meters will no longer be deployed after December 5, 2018.
Ms Perry is headlining the Energy Live Expo event on October 31 in London. To book your place (free if you are an end user), you can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org