French energy giant EDF is poised to launch the first "large scale" Smart Grid trial in the UK.
Smart meters have been trialled in the UK before, but this project will also examine the impact of smart meters on the power distribution network.
EDF will begin offering customers in various areas of London the opportunity to participate in the trial in the coming weeks. Participating customers will be offered different tariffs to test their willingness to adjust electricity usage during peak times, including tariffs based on the availability of wind energy.
UK Power Networks (UKPN), which used to be the UK distribution arm of EDF until it was sold to Chinese utilities company CKI last year, will monitor its grid to see whether the presence of smart meters makes a difference in the way that customers use electricity.
David Openshaw, head of future networks at UKPN, said that the trial will offer customers a wide range of new information to help them manage electricity usage.
"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." Openshaw said.
The trial is part of a wider project called Low Carbon London. UK Power Networks has contributed £4.6 million to this project, while energy regulator Ofgem’s Low Carbon Network Fund has given £24.9 million.