Multi-billion pound cost of the smart meter rollout could become even greater, consumer group warns MPsCitizens Advice says there need
Multi-billion pound cost of the smart meter rollout could become even greater, consumer group warns MPs
- Citizens Advice says there needs to be ‘real focus’ on updating the costs benefit analysis of the programme
- Since the BEIS’ 2016 cost estimate of the rollout, the price has increased by at least half a billion pounds
Grace Gausden For This Is Money
A consumer group has warned MPs today that the growing cost of the smart meter rollout to households across Britain could become ‘potentially even greater’ amid a ‘real information gap’.
Dhara Vyas, head of future energy services at Citizens Advice, told the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee there needs to be a ‘real focus’ on an updated costs benefit analysis of the programme.
The National Audit Office said late last year that the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s latest 2016 estimate – that the programme will cost £11billion, the equivalent of £374 per dual fuel household – ‘under-estimates the true cost of rolling out smart meters’.
Citizens Advice has warned the cost of the smart meter rollout could become ‘even greater’
Since the estimate, the cost of rolling out the devices has increased by at least half a billion pounds, the equivalent of an additional £17 per household.
Ms Vyas has warned that the extra £17 could become ‘potentially even greater’. She said: ‘We have been asking the department for an updated cost benefit analysis.
‘There is a real information gap here and it really impacts upon our ability to do our job as watchdog.
‘I think there should be a real focus on doing a new cost benefit analysis.’
The NAO warned last November that the Government’s target of having smart meters installed in every home by 2020 will not be met.
It also said the rollout cost is likely to ‘escalate’ beyond expectations.
The rollout began in 2012 and nearly 13million have been installed since then.
Although encouraged by the Government and energy suppliers, the public are entitled to decline having a smart meter fitted in their home.
Last month, we revealed how households are being badgered into getting a smart meter even after they have refused one.
Some say they feel harassed after being sent unasked-for installation appointments, which they then struggle to cancel.
In one shocking case an SSE customer was threatened with bailiffs and incorrectly told the meters were a ‘legal requirement’.
If you have had a problem with a smart meter, get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org