UK public unconvinced by smart meter ‘benefits’

1 min read

The UK’s Public Accounts Committee has issued a damning report on the government’s rollout of smart meters, calling it lacklustre and having failed to convince customers of the benefits of the technology.

Commenting on the delayed smart energy meter rollout – a programme that began back in 2011 - the committee called on the government to show how it would accelerate the programme and better convince the public of its advantages.

The committee also called on the government to disclose the costs of the programme and proposed an annual report on the progress of the rollout.

The government has pushed back the date by which it hoped that all homes and businesses would have a smart meter several times and is now hoping to reach about 75% of homes and 70% of small businesses by 2025.

One of the big issues with smart meters has been the technology itself with 3 million meters, almost 10 per cent of those installed, being faulty. In addition, millions more could be affected when the 2G and 3G mobile communication networks close.

So how can the government look to sell this troubled programme to the public?

Well, it will need to work more closely with Smart Energy GB, the body set up to drive the programme, and it will have to engage more with consumers to better explain the advantages of smart metering – whether that’s helping households make the most of home solar panels or making better use of time-of-use tariffs.

A bit more ‘joined up’ thinking might not go amiss either!