Every home in Britain will be fitted with a smart energy meter by 2020, under £8.6 billion plans announced by the government.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change said the energy suppliers would be “responsible” for fitting and paying for the meters. The total £8.6 billion figure, comprises £5.1 billion of capital, installation, and IT costs, as well as £1.6 billion operational expenditure and £2 billion communications and other costs.
The new IT system across suppliers, for data management, settlement and storage, is expected to cost £12 million, and require £1 million annual operational expenditure.
The government said today that the scheme will deliver £14.6 billion of benefits in the period, including £6.3 billion savings for suppliers through avoided meter reading, and £4.6 billion savings for consumers through reduced energy usage.
The initiative will require a national communications network to manage data received from the meters, and distribute it to suppliers. A large IT contract relating to this is expected to be up for grabs in the coming months.
Energy and climate change minister Lord Hunt said that British efforts towards a climate deal in Copenhagen this month required households themselves to “change how we lead our lives and how we generate our energy”. The scheme was a part of this, he said.