Energy provider British Gas has begun rolling out its next-generation of smart meters to UK customers.
These newer devices come equipped with touch-screen technology and enable greater control over energy usage, according to the utility company.
A spokesman for British Gas said: "Customers will be able to see how much electricity or gas they're using in real time and then make decisions based on that."
British Gas has already supplied 400,000 older devices to homes and businesses in the UK, but from now on will almost exclusively be providing the newer models.
It plans to install two million devices by the end of 2012.
While these smart meters provide real-time information to users, they are designed to send data back to British Gas once per day.
However, users can opt to send data more regularly.
"There will be an option for customers to give us half hourly meter readings, which will help us to understand their consumption patterns.
That might enable us to suggest ways for them to save money, such as by insulating their homes," added the spokesman.
In order to be able to process the huge volume of data it expects this rollout to generate, British Gas is working with various leading companies to ensure it has the necessary software and infrastructure in place.
"We're working with [business software firm] SAP, [communications network provider] Trilliant, [software infrastructure provider] OSIsoft and [communications firm] Vodafone to make sure we've got the system in place to process the data," said the spokesman.
The UK government has said that all homes be fitted with smart meters by 2020.
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