Smart meter displays labelled ‘pointless’ by energy companies
Households could be charged millions of pounds to pay for displays which may be redundant in the era of the smart phone
Smart meters take automatic gas and electricity readings and send them directly to energy companies. Ministers want them installed in every UK home by 2020. The roll-out will set back consumers by £12bn, which will be added to energy bills.
The smart meter displays, which come with the smart meter, will allow consumers to see exactly how much energy they are using at a given moment and encourage energy efficient behaviour.
The government believes the measure will save consumers money in the long-run, as they will be able to measure and cut down their energy expenditure.
Using apps would save households money
The displays, which cost between £15 and £25 each, were branded unnecessary by ScottishPower and independent energy provider First Utility.
The energy company has argued that allowing consumers to use apps instead of displays would not only reduce costs but also prove more convenient to the average user.
ScottishPower calls for full review of smart meter roll out
ScottishPower’s Chief Executive of Generation and Retail Neil Clitheroe said: “Removing the obligation of the mandatory requirement of in-home displays could significantly reduce the costs of the smart meter programme to consumers.
“Displays could be offered where appropriate but costs can be reduced by offering alternative information sources such as apps.
“We would like to see a careful review of the entire smart metering programme in order to reduce costs.”
At present, more than one million smart meters have been installed in the UK’s homes, predominantly by British Gas.
Research carried out by uSwitch in December 2013, showed that 92% of homes with a smart meter are pleased it was installed.