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Smart meter roll out must be speedy

The Government needs to speed up its plans to roll out smart meters to every home – according to a leading manufacturer.

Worcester Bosch has welcomed the announcement that smart meters will be installed in every home by 2020, but warned the deadline is not ambitious enough.

Head of Sustainable Development at Worcester Neil Schofield said: “Anything that makes energy usage more transparent for the consumer is good news, but the delay is a missed opportunity.

“We believe that only a transparent correlation between daily energy usage and the final bill will encourage consumers to grasp the nettle on the key environmental issue we face, namely the replacement of standard efficiency boilers, which are both expensive and environmentally unfriendly.”

The smart meters will allow suppliers to remotely record customers' gas and electricity usage, and let consumers see how much energy they are using. Some 26 million electricity and 22 million gas meters will need to be fitted at a cost of £7 billion.

Mr Schofield said. “At the moment, the current metering system is far too opaque for the average consumer, which leaves them unable to equate daily usage with their final bill.

“This opaqueness is a key contributor to consumers being unwilling to upgrade to high efficiency boilers and renewable technologies. Smart meters will bring transparency, but unfortunately the delay in implementation will leave far too many in the dark over their energy consumption for the next decade.” 

Another key issue highlighted by Mr Schofield is the potential need to calculate a households carbon footprint through the meter.

He said. “The day is coming when we will be asked to account for our individual carbon generation.  It would be nice if the meters could also display the carbon footprint of a home. Armed with this information consumers will be further encouraged to embrace renewable technologies.”