Smart Meters May One Day Be Useful and Fit For Purpose, Promises Environment Minister

By Gary Cutlack on at

A man who very seriously refers to himself as Lord Duncan of Springbank has been interrogated by a committee of MPs asking why smart meters are rubbish and no one wants to use them unless made to, with the mighty lord promising that a "Star Trek phase" of super advanced smart meter technology is on the way, bringing properly amazing delights like real-time tariff switching to customers.

Lord Duncan was addressing the Business and Energy committee from his position as climate change minister, with a representative of energy watchdog Ofgem also present to explain why smart meters are not yet everywhere and used by everyone as we have been continually promised. Duncan admitted that there's still a "relatively wide ignorance across the country about the value of smart meters," because people, once they've done the basics like switch suppliers and install energy efficient bulbs, feel there's not much additional value in seeing their energy use go up, and the amount of money they have go down, live, throughout the winter.

The government still expects the energy suppliers to spend a total of £13.5bn on the launch of smart meters, though, which it hopes will be installed in 85 per cent of UK homes by 2024. Ofgem promises that a centralised data system, which will see meters issued by one supplier able to continue working should the subscriber switch to another source of energy, will be ready by next year, ending current nonsensical situations where smart meters are rendered dumb by a network switch. [BBC]