The agreement is in line with the government’s drive to have a smart meter installed in every British home by 2020.
Smart meters automatically send gas and electricity readings to relevant energy suppliers and consequently eliminate the need for estimated bills.
The hope is that more accurate reporting around household energy usage will encourage people to reduce and manage their energy consumption in an effort to save money.
The smart meters will provide consumers with an overview of their real-time energy consumption and daily readings will be sent to the energy supplier.
Potential to save 5% on fuel bills
Chris Weston, managing director at British Gas, explained to The Telegraph that the adoption of smart meters should encourage consumers to use up to 5% less energy. For the average consumer, this would be the equivalent of saving £65 a year on a dual fuel bill.
Despite this, critics argue that consumers will have to foot the £12.1bn cost of the smart meter roll-out and have also voiced concerns over privacy issues.
Weston has admitted that there will be an additional cost of roughly £50 per year for each household, spread out across British Gas’ consumer base and regardless of whether a smart meter has been installed in their property.
He added that these costs, which will be implemented at some point this decade, will be cancelled out by decreased operating costs linked with manually reading meters.
Landis+Gyr hoping to supply other providers
Andreas Umbach, chief executive at Landis+Gyr, has stated that the company is currently in talks with other energy providers and is hoping to supply them with smart meters as well. He referred to the UK’s roll-out as “the most ambitious [smart meter] programme” in existence.
The contract with British Gas is expected to create 600 jobs in the UK.