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30 MILLION HOMES TO BENEFIT FROM SMART METERS BY 2019

30 MILLION HOMES TO BENEFIT FROM SMART METERS BY 2019 (News (General))

by administrator @, Wednesday, April 11, 2012, 08:28

Thirty million homes and small businesses will have smart meters by 2019, enabling all consumers to have access to accurate information and bringing an end to estimated billing.

Energy and Climate Change minister, Charles Hendry said: "In less than three years energy suppliers will begin the mass rollout of smart meters across the country and I am determined that consumers are at the heart of this ambitious programme.

"That is why we are proposing tough guidelines on installation, which will minimise inconvenience and help people to make the most of their smart meters to save energy and save money.

"In addition, I want to be absolutely clear to consumers that they will be in control of their energy consumption data. So apart from where it is required for billing or other regulated purposes, it will be for consumers to decide who can access their data."

Key conclusions include there should be no sales during the installation visit; installers must provide energy efficiency advice as part of the visit; they will need the consumers permission in advance of the visit if they are to talk to them about their own particular products; and; all households will be offered an in-home display allowing them to see what energy is being used and how much it is costing.

Proposals set out in the consultation documents include that consumers will have a choice about who has access to their data, except for data which is needed for billing and meeting other regulatory obligations, typically on a monthly basis; a model for centralised communications activity to help all consumers understand how to use smart meters to better manage their energy consumption and expenditure; and proposals to ensure that vulnerable and low income consumers can benefit from the rollout.

Mike O'Connor, Chief Executive of Consumer Focus said: "We welcome the banning of sales during installation and that marketing will only be allowed if the customer agrees. This shows the Government has listened to consumers. We support the proposals to address consumer concerns around the privacy of information. But, to make this work, people must be aware of their rights and the choices available to them on how much information is passed to suppliers.

"It is also welcome that the Government has recognised the need for a much stronger and better co-ordinated strategy to engage consumers. Smart meters will only help people to become more energy efficient and cut their bills if they are able to easily understand and use the new technology. We hope this move will pave the way for a support scheme for vulnerable customers to ensure everyone gets the benefit of smart meters."

www.decc.gov.uk


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