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Smart meter rules announced

The Department of Energy and Climate Change has announced a number of initiatives to protect consumers in the roll out of smart meters, due to start in 2014.

Energy suppliers are due to replace more than 53 million gas and electricity meters in 30 million homes and small businesses up to 2019.

Energy and Climate Change minister Baroness Verma said: “The consumer comes first. That’s why we are tackling issues such as privacy, security, consumer protection and communications now, working with industry and consumer groups to make sure we get this right ahead of the mass rollout.”

The DECC statement announced that consumers will have a choice on how often energy suppliers can access consumption data, which cannot be used for marketing purposes without explicit consent.

Suppliers will have to issue reminders to customers about choices made and how these can be altered.

It was also announced that a new Central Delivery Body will assist consumers in their use of smart meters.

The larger energy suppliers will also be required to outline their plans to government and and report on progress of the roll out.

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