Smart Meters to Provide Cheaper Gas and Electricity for all UK Households

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By 2020, energy suppliers will have installed Smart Meters in every UK household, in a government lead scheme to introduce cheaper gas and electricity bills for consumers by enabling them to be aware of how much energy they are using.

In order to maintain public support, suppliers must show that smart meters will drive bills down, not up... customers need energy price drops - not price rises.

By 2020, energy suppliers will have installed Smart Meters in every UK household, in a government lead scheme to introduce cheaper gas and electricity bills for consumers by enabling them to be aware of how much energy they are using.

In the current economic climate, it is in the best interest of gas and electricity consumers to incur cheaper gas and electricity bills, and in the ecological interest of the environment to cut carbon emissions.

Smart Meters come with a display device which gives homeowners instant readings, allowing them to see the cost of energy usage. This would enable a homeowner to monitor the gas and electricity usage for their appliances which might, for example, result in them switching televisions off at the mains rather than leaving them on standby, effectively reducing their energy usage as well as their cost.

According to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), recent trials of Smart Meters in homes across the UK have revealed that the 8 billion pound project could save each household an annual sum of £28 on domestic bills, and a further £92 for small businesses. The scheme should also result in the end of estimated billing and make electricity usage more efficient while cutting carbon emissions.

Welcomed by energy companies for bringing energy into the 21st century, the scheme will inevitably mean that traditional meter readers are exempt from use, resulting in job losses for employees who are currently employed to check them. According to British Gas however, the energy saving scheme is predicted to create 2,600 new jobs for the company by 2012.

Further fears have been raised that while the scheme will be cost effective for energy companies, the multi-million pound bill for the ten year project will be fuelled by a rise in electricity and gas prices for consumers.

Mark Todd from Energy Helpline, a company that provides gas and electricity price comparisons for consumers says: “In order to maintain public support suppliers must show that smart meters will drive bills down, not up. With unemployment still increasing and the recession continuing to bite, customers need energy price drops - not price rises.“

The introduction of Smart Meters aims to revolutionise the way in which energy is used in the UK by providing consumers with a tool for understanding their energy usage and allowing them to control how it is translated into their bill.

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