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To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the benefit to the consumer of the proposed new smart meters; and what consideration is being given to the introduction of a simpler type of meter, not requiring visits or regular reading by the consumer.
The March 2011 impact assessments for the smart meter programme identified that over the next 20 years the rollout of smart meters is expected to deliver £7.3 billion net benefits to consumers, energy suppliers and networks. Benefits to consumers include real-time information on their energy consumption to help them control energy use, save money and reduce emissions. By 2020, we expect the average consumer, with both electricity and gas supply, to save an average £23 per year on their energy bill.
In the March 2011 Response to the Prospectus consultation, the Government set out the functional requirements for smart meters. The costs and benefits of a range of different features have been considered and analysed, supported by extensive consultation with industry, consumer groups and other stakeholders. The functional requirements have been developed to ensure the benefits of the programme are delivered. These benefits include removing the need for on-site meter readings by the supplier or consumer, and more accurate billing.