'Smart meters' for gas and electricity are set to be approved for installation across the country in a huge project that could cost homes and businesses more than £500 each.
The meters are being presented as the key to doing away with estimated bills and encouraging families to cut down on their energy use by showing them how much they are using. The huge scheme is to be unveiled by Climate Change Secretary, Ed Miliband, as part of a package of measures to cut the nation's carbon footprint ahead of the climate change summit in Copenhagen.
However, the cost of installation has been estimated by the Government at £9billion, while some analysts suggest the figure will be as high as £13.4billion. Consumer groups fear that the major part of this bill will be passed on to housholders and could add up to £515 per family over a ten-year period. It will be possible to send an electronic message to the meters to change the tariffs in line with price alterations. It will also allow companies to charge more during peak times. The meters could also be used to ration supplies across the network or cap electricity use in a particular household to a certain threshold.
DOES ANYONE TRUST THE POWER COMPANIES not to change tariffs, to charge extra when it's colder or cut your power if there's some problem with your DIRECT DEBIT. I CERTAINLY DON'T. As usual the Government will tell us they're bringing in safeguards, WHICH WON'T BE WORTH THE PAPER THEY'RE WRITTEN ON!