Amber Rudd has claimed good progress is being made on the government’s smart meter roll-out initiative, which she says will be “of huge advantage” to energy bill payers in the UK.
The government has a manifesto commitment to ‘ensure that every home and business in the country is offered a smart meter by 2020, delivered as cost effectively as possible’. According to Ofgem, which is regulating the rollout initiative, around 53 million gas and electricity meters will need to be installed by the end of the decade.
Providing an update on the scheme to the House of Commons this morning, the energy secretary said: “Good progress is being made. Energy suppliers have now installed over two million meters in homes and small businesses across Britain ahead of the main installation stage starting later this year.”
Installation is expected to rise significantly from 2016 onwards, with the government targeting around 20 million meters being fitted between by 2018. The initiative is then expected to peak in 2019 before finishing the following year.
Smart meters are intended to act as a main way for consumers to reduce their energy usage which is a key goal for the Department of Energy and Climate Change.
“I think smart meters are going to have a great future in this country. Smart meters will be a very good way for people to reduce their bills and for using less energy therefore creating less carbon emissions,” Rudd claimed.
The secretary of state was responding to a question put forward by Meg Hillier, Labour MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch, who cited a recent claim by Alex Henney, the former director of London Electricity, who called the scheme a “ghastly mess” and a waste of money.
Rudd hit back at this and said: “There is no question that this initiative of smart meters is of huge advantage to the UK customers, and it is the UK customers and consumers that will always be put first.”