The UK Government today published its plans for the mass rollout of smart meters, which it says will start in 2014 and be completed five years later.
The project, which will see 53 million smart meters installed in 30 million homes and businesses across the country could hold benefits totalling £7.3 billion for the UK economy over the next 20 years.
The rollout will be conducted in two phases, starting with a ‘foundation stage’ where the Government will work with industry, consumer groups and other relevant organisation to test and build the necessary systems.
During this first stage, which starts now, the Government will also set up the data and communications company that will provide all the necessary services for the smart meter network.
The groundwork will then be laid for the mass rollout, which the Government says will be completed in 2019, slightly behind the schedule laid out by the previous administration.
“Smart meters will enable us to modernise the electricity system over the coming years and create the smart grids we will need to bring new low carbon energy sources online, and handle much higher demand for electricity as we progressively electrify transport and heating,” commented Energy Minister Charles Hendry.
The Government says its smart meter programme will ultimately save consumers around £23 per year on their gas and electricity bills, while allowing suppliers to reduce costs, end meter readings and improve debt management.
The plans published today include reports on data security, impact assessments and an implementation plan.
For further information:
IBM and Cable&Wireless join forces on smart grid communications (24-Mar)
Communications giant O2 ventures into UK smart meter market (14-Feb)
Ofgem no longer responsible for smart meter rollout, says UK Government (13-Dec 2010)
BT, Arqiva and Detica reach out with UK smart meter bid (22-Oct 2010)
30 March 2011