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IoD response to the Department of Energy & Climate Change consultation on smart meters

23 Sep 2015
Power pylons with picturesque sky in background

The IoD takes a keen interest in smart meter roll-out and responds in full to the DECC consultation.

Smart meters allow energy suppliers to receive electricity and gas readings remotely using mobile phone-type signals and wireless technologies. The Government states that Smart meters "put consumers in control of their energy use, allowing them to adopt energy efficiency measures that can help save money on their energy bills and offset price increases".

The Department of Energy and Climate Change's Smart Metering Implementation Programme requires energy suppliers to replace 53 million meters in homes and small businesses with smart electricity and gas meters by the end of 2020. The costs of installing smart meters, some £10.9 billion, is being borne by consumers through their energy bills (£215 per home, including installation costs). Domestic consumers will be offered an In Home Display (IHD) enabling them to see what energy they are using and how much it is costing.

The Government also says that "smart meters are a platform for smart grids and will provide the foundation for demand-side response in conjunction with half-hourly settlement. As part of this, time of use tariffs and load control will help to manage peak electricity demand as part of a more flexible and responsive future energy system".

We support the broad principles behind the smart meters programme. We recognize the benefits of automated, accurate meter reading and increasing energy awareness; however, we are wary of the programme’s design and fear that it will fail to deliver the policy outcomes hoped for by Government, particularly the hypothetical advantages for the end users; consumers and small businesses.

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