A group of MPís from the ëEnergy and Climate Change Committeeí have warned that the project to put energy saving smart meters in every household in the United Kingdom is at risk of falling apart.
They have cautioned about a problem with an £11 billion in the budget that is reportedly behind the timescale allocated in the original agenda. In a statement from the committee, they alerted the public to the fact that the scheme was in danger of failing due to various ìtechnical, logistical and public communication issues.î
The Energy and Climate Change department have stated that this scheme was originally put in place in order to ensure consumers would be getting maximum resources for their money. It was predicted that the smart meter project could save around £17 billion for these consumers and eventually put an end to estimated bills and charges.
In a bid to ensure the government implements measures to prevent this project from failing, Tim Yeo, the committee chairman made an impassioned statement. He commented: ìTime is running out on the governmentís plan to install smart meters in each of the UKís 30 million homes and businesses by 2020.
Smart meters could generate more than £17 billion in energy savings for the country yet a series of technical and other issues have resulted in delays to the planned roll-out. This committee first looked at this programme in 2013, highlighting issues which we urged the government to address.î
He went on to argue: ìWhile some progress has been made since then, itís not enough. The energy industry told us that it needs the government to enable industry wide solutions, rather than the less efficient alternative of letting each energy supplier develop its own solution.î
He also said that the government had come to a critical point when it came to the success of the smart meter scheme. He stated: ìIt can continue with its current approach and risk embarrassment through public disengagement on a flagship energy policy, or it can grip the reins, and steer the energy industry along a more successful path which brings huge benefits for the country.î
If the smart meter project was to be a true success, it would give the consumer knowledge of how much each electrical appliance uses. Those behind the scheme believe this would have a huge impact on how efficient consumers are with their electricity.
The Department for Energy and Climate Change have reported that at present, around one million people have had a smart meter installed. Claire Maugham from ëSmart Energy GBí stated that people who have got a smart meter are ìmore confident in looking around for the right tariff and the right supplierÖand theyíre much more happy with the whole experience of buying gas and electricity.î
Ms. Maugham did however warn that people who are installing smart meters need greater advice and help in getting the best out of the technology. She also believes there should be more independent supervision of the smart meter market.
Despite the fact that chargers for electricity meters are already included in power bills, ëSmart Energy GBí have said that there are no upfront payments to install a meter and there will be no more charges after the installation.