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.”