'Smart scheme must pay dividends for consumers'Thursday, 30 June 2011 10:29
Smart meters for gas and electricity ‘must pay dividends for consumers’, watchdog group Consumer Focus has said.
The comments were made in response to a report by the National Audit Office which found ‘major risks’ need to be addressed if the £11.3bn scheme is to achieve value for money.
The Government plans to install the meters, which provide detailed information on energy use, in all homes between 2014 and 2019.
Their aim is to reduce gas and electricity consumption while improving customer service and choice. Suppliers will be able to take readings remotely.
But the Audit Office still has a number of concerns, claiming the scheme does not yet demonstrate value for money and that there is little evidence to suggest consumers will change their habits in the long term.
The report has been welcomed by Consumer Focus. Energy Expert, Zoe McLeod, said: “Smart meters have significant potential benefits for consumers but only if the risks are addressed properly.
‘Consumers will end up footing the bill for this multi-billion pound scheme. Success will be measured by whether it delivers real improvements such as helping people to cut their energy use, switch more easily and get better customer service.”