Refusing smart meters ‘could soon become very expensive’ for households

Climate Change Minister Lord Duncan told the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee that people who stop a smart meter being installed could be hit by “very high” bills

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It could soon become “very expensive” for households to refuse to change to smart meters.

That was the suggestion from Climate Change Minister Lord Duncan, who yesterday told the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Select Committee that those who refused a smart meter could be hit by “very high” bills.

He noted as the rollout progresses it will become more expensive for suppliers to do manual readings and warned “the expense of maintaining these relic meters will be very high indeed” and suggested consumers “will find the stick”.

Mary Starks, Executive Director of Consumers and Markets at Ofgem, said the regulator is “ready to take tough action” on suppliers that fail to adequately deliver smart meter targets.

The government has set a goal for 85% of homes to have a smart meter to monitor real-time power usage by 2024 – deployment thus far has been significantly delayed, with reports in September suggesting a device would need to be put in place every seven seconds to reach this figure.

The installation of second-generation smart meters (SMETS2) in homes across Britain has surpassed the two million mark last month.