MPs to hold second inquiry into UK roll-out of smart meters

Tsmart meterhe Westminster Energy Committee is to hold another inquiry into the proposed UK roll-out of the government’s ‘smart meter’ programme.

Smart meters allow energy suppliers to get remote electricity and gas readings of households and businesses using mobile phone-type signals and wireless technologies.

The roll-out of smart meters in the UK is due to take place between 2015 and 2020 with an estimated 53 million devices to be installed by energy suppliers in 28 million homes and two million businesses.  

The Department of Energy (DECC) estimates that the roll-out of smart meters cost around £12.1 billion and these costs will be passed onto consumers. However, smart meters are expected to achieve approximate savings of £18.8 billion.

MPs on the Committee first investigated UK Smart Meters in 2013 and they are now investigating the government’s progress on this project. In its last report, MPs were broadly supportive of smart meters but highlighted areas for ‘more clarity’ – including keeping costs under control and consumer savings.

MPs have specifically asked for submissions on the following for consideration in their new inquiry:

  • What progress has been made on smart meter roll-out since our last report on this subject?
  • To what extent has the Government addressed the concerns we raised about smart-meter roll-out, and the concerns raised by other interested parties since their last report?
  • What are the remaining challenges (technical, communication or other) associated with launching the mass roll-out of smart meters in 2015, and completing it by 2020?
  • How can these challenges be overcome?
  • Is it necessary to introduce time of use pricing for electricity?

Deadline for submissions is 4 November 2014.

These should be sent to The Clerk, Energy and Climate Change Committee, 14 Tothill Street, London, SW1H 9NB.

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