The first smart meters in a Smart Grid trial have been rolled out across London.

Utility EDF Energy has given smart meters to 5000 customers and the pattern of their energy use will be monitored at electricity substations by network distributor UK Power Networks.

A second phase of the trial will see customers offered different prices at different times of the day to see if they change their energy usage patterns, while a third stage will offer some customers tariffs linked to wind generation.

When there is a lot of wind energy coming onto the grid, these customers will be offered cheaper prices. When there is less power from wind in the system, they will be encouraged to turn off non-essential appliances by means of higher prices.

David Openshaw, head of future networks at UK Power Networks, said: “We are preparing now for the time when every home in Britain will have a smart meter and when low carbon electricity will increasingly displace fossil fuels for heating and transport. What we learn in London will be relevant to every town or city in the world which has the ambition to ensure a sustainable low carbon energy future for its residents and communities.”

Niels Roberts, EDF Energy’s smart metering programme director, said: “The roll-out of smart metering will help customers to understand their energy use, enable them to be more energy efficient and provide them with accurate bills.”