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Watchdog to review smart meter roll out this summer

The National Audit Office (NAO) will investigate whether the roll out of smart meters will achieve long-term benefits worth £16.7bn.


Amber Ainsley   Pritchard

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Amber Ainsley   Pritchard
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The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy is leading the roll out of smart meters to a total of around 30 million homes and small businesses in Great Britain by 2020.

 

The smart meters will enable consumers to see what energy they are using in monetary terms, and will communicate with their energy suppliers on a real-time basis.

 

The government expects smart meters to provide a number of benefits for consumers, including helping them to manage their energy use better, ending estimated billing and making it easier to switch.

 

In 2016, the government estimated that the rollout would cost £11bn, and achieve benefits worth £16.7bn.

 

The NAO review is scheduled to be carried out this summer and will:

 

  • Assess the current economic case for the rollout of smart meters;
  • Look at whether the government is on track to achieve its target to rollout meters by 2020;
  • Consider whether the government is maximising the chances that smart meters will achieve their intended long-term benefits.

 

In November 2017, Claire Maugham, director of policy and communications at Smart Energy GB, the industry body responsible for promoting smart meters, said: “More than 8.6 million smart meters have now been installed across Great Britain, transforming the experience of buying and using gas and electricity for millions of people.

“Our research shows that eight in 10 people who have upgraded to a smart meter would recommend them to their family and friends.”

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