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Smart meter plans 'make or break'

The integration of smart meters into households could provide big benefits to customers, but if done wrong it could potentially cause big risks, an energy expert has claimed.

By 2019, smart meters are due to be installed in millions of homes and businesses across Great Britain.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change is meeting with the country’s biggest utility providers - E.ON, British Gas, EDF, ESB and RWE nPower - to discuss plans to roll out the new technology.

The groups will take part in the Smart Metering UK & Ireland conference in London at the end of the month, which will feature an address from Consumer Focus expert, Zoe McLeod.

She said: “The challenge is for industry to work with government and consumer groups to put the right protections in place and ensure that smart meters deliver for consumers.

“Energy customers are expected to foot the multi-billion price tag for this scheme so they will expect value for money and that everyone benefits from the switch to smart.

“There are still major questions that need to be answered for consumers on protections, privacy, sales, service and benefits. Getting these answers right will ultimately determine the success or failure of smart meters.”

She added: “If it is done well, we should see an end to estimated bills which are a major source of consumer complaints.”