UK mini-budget: GMB energy trade union laments £14bn hole in Britain’s smart meter project

smart-meterThe Chancellor’s autumn statement contained at least one glaring omission according to GMB, the energy union – £14 billion needed for the Government’s flagship smart meter project.

In his ‘mini-budget’ Chancellor Philip Hammond promised huge investment in infrastructure – but made no mention of the vast sums required to install the 53 million new meters across the country.

The project will see new smart meters installed in 30 million homes and businesses at an estimated cost of £215 a go.

The initial price tag for the project is £11 billion, but with massive staff shortages the cost of the project looks underfunded in the lead up to the target date of 2020.

The cost is nearly 30% of the £55.7 billion needed for England’s High Speed-2 rail project

Justin Bowden, GMB National Secretary, said: “It is ridiculous that the autumn statement did not even mention the biggest infrastructure the UK has ever had.

“Trying to install 53 million smart meters by 2020 is cloud cuckoo land – unless there is a massive Government led programme starting now to ensure adequate staff to do the work, alongside proper funding.

“Every electricity and gas customer in the country will want to know whether by leaving smart metering out of the autumn statement, the Chancellor has a cunning plan to try and sneak the costs onto them.”

Pixie Energy

Pixie logo Pixie Energy is an incubator and a facilitator of strategic research and project work, focusing on energy regulation, policy and markets at the local and national level. Find out more about Pixie Energy here.

Local Energy Matters: Scotland

Local Energy Matters: Scotland is a free-to-download brochure with a focus on energy tariffs in the two Scottish electricity distribution regions, as well news on local energy and low-carbon schemes.

Previous editions can be download here.

Scottish energy market overview

You can read an overview of the Scottish energy market here.

Scottish Government energy feed