Delay smart meter rollout rather than dumb it down

Posted: 29th July 2013

Delay the smart meter rollout rather than turn off consumers by installing "dumb" meters, MPs have urged.

The Energy and Climate Change Select Committee has thrown its support behind the rollout of smart meters in a report published on Saturday.

However, it must be managed carefully to make sure consumers get the full benefits, MPs cautioned.

"It is important that the first experience consumers have with smart meters is positive," said acting committee chair Sir Robert Smith.

"As such we believe smart meters should only be installed when versions are available that give the best consumer experience and when the necessary communications coverage is available.

"It is better to delay installation until consumers can have smart meters that they can engage with straight away rather than risk alienating consumers with initial installation of 'dumb' meters."

The Department of Energy and Climate Change and Ofgem must keep costs in check, the report added. The programme is expected to cost £12.1 billion and achieve savings worth £18.8 billion.

Sir Robert added: "If UK consumers and businesses are to see the £6.7 billion benefit, DECC and Ofgem must retain responsibility for ensuring that costs are kept under control until there is sufficient competition in the market to do this."

Source: Utility Week. Read more here.

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