UK consumer organisation, Which? has called for a halt to the review of the UK’s Smart Meter rollout due to concerns over the cost and the lack of government control.
Which? has said in a recent statement, that it believes it has the potential to undermine consumer confidence, and cuold cost consumers more than the estimated £11 billion.
“The government must not write a blank check on behalf of every energy customer, especially at a time when millions of people are struggling to pay their bills,” said Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which? “The Energy Department should stop and review the smart meter rollout before it becomes an £11 billion fiasco.”
The Centre for Sustainable Energy have completed a report on the rollout, which concluded that if the rollout plans remain as they are, there is a strong risk that the program will fail the consumers.It says that it has found a number of signs that the concerns of consumers are not being fully catered for in the design of the Smart meter system or the rollout program.
One of the areas of concern is that there is a reliance on competetive pressures in the energy supply market to control program costs and to make sure the benefits are passed onto consumers., whihch seems naive considering the currently limited nature of such pressures.
The plan to have energy suppliers as the lead delivery agents for the program will build consumer distrust from the outset, and limits the potential for area- based street-by-street programs, which would be cost effective.
The report was commissioned by Which? following concerns raised by consumers. The CSE is also involved with Western Power Distribution, The University of Bristol and Scottish & Southern Energy in an investigation on generating value to the industry from the mass of smart meter data that will come.