Smart Meters Put Chris Huhne's Hand On Your Thermostat
The government set out its strategy for the roll-out of the energy-saving technology.
The roll-out – the most comprehensive yet planned in any country – will require 53m smart meters to be installed in 30m homes and businesses, starting in 2014 and finishing in 2019. Households are likely to save £23 on their annual energy bills by 2020, the government has estimated, up from its previous estimate of £14 in savings.
Smart meters benefit consumers by showing their energy use in real-time. This means people can respond quickly, for instance by turning off unnecessary lights or appliances, to save money.
The technology also benefits energy suppliers, as it eliminates the need for meter readers to visit properties and allow for more accurate billing, and better data on energy demand patterns.
Future generations of smart meters are likely to offer even greater advantages, for instance by allowing utilities better to manage demand within consumers' homes, by switching appliances such as washing machines on when demand is lower, or turning down fridges when demand peaks. This could save billions through more efficient management of the electricity grid, but these capabilities are unlikely to be introduced for several years at the earliest.
Chris Huhne, the secretary of state for energy and climate change, said: "Smart meters are a key part of giving us all more control .....
Tell us it will save us £20 a year in exchange for giving the man in Whitehall control of your appliances. Another good reason to go off grid.