Smart Meter Rollout to Be Investigated

The National Audit Office is set to initiate a review into the government's drive to install smart meters in UK homes. According to the government's own figures, the total cost of the initiative would reach £11 billion and include every household in the UK by 2020.

This would entail a installing 53 million smart meters within two years time. So far however, only 8.6 million have been installed.

The main purpose of the review is to determine whether or not the installation of smart meters will actually save households money.

In addition, the review will seek to determine whether the government is ensuring that the long term benefits due to the installation of the meters will be achieved.

The benefits of the scheme are worth £16.7 billion according to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

Smart meters allow customers to easily see how much energy they are using, end the need for estimated billing and make it easier to switch suppliers.

However, some problems with the meters include, installation issues, inaccurate bills and difficulties with supplier switching.

Switching is an important issue as it is meant to be one of the primary benefits of the usage of smart meters. In 2017, a record 5.5 million households switched suppliers, which was an increase of 15% on the previous year (Lee Boyce, Thisismoney, January 2018).

Another issue is that the system that is intended to allow meters to communicate with energy suppliers is yet to go live, despite being due to do so three years ago.

However, according to Smart Energy GB, 8 out of 10 smart meter users were satisfied with their device.

The final report in to the scheme will be published in summer 2018.

Whatever the final outcome, reducing your household bills is an important part of your personal financial journey.

Contact Westminster Wealth Management today and one of our experienced financial advisers can go through your personal financial situation with you, identifying the important expenses while shining a light on those that may be sapping your future wealth.

The value of investments and income from them may go down as well as up and you may not get back the original amount invested.

Information is based on our current understanding of taxation legislation and regulations which is subject to change.