Examination of Witnesses

Part of Smart Meters Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:15 pm on 21st November 2017.

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Dr Sarah Darby:

That would be an argument for paying special attention to such areas and thinking how that could be addressed. It does seem to me that the strength of the programme so far is that it is voluntary, and that the early learning is being done by people who are already well-disposed to it and will perhaps put up with any kind of teething glitches that go on. They will adapt and then, if they are satisfied, will pass the word on to others so that others will want a smart meter too.

If we speed up, the amount of attention paid to the installation process will almost inevitably drop off. There will be pressure on installers just to go into a building, put the kit in and get out, and not to spend time doing the things that customers have said they appreciate about the roll-out so far: having someone who will explain stuff to them and show them how to use the equipment, and having that level of support to the installation. If we lose that through speeding up the whole process, the programme will suffer greatly in the long run.