Energy: Meters

Department for Energy and Climate Change written question – answered on 8th December 2014.

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Photo of Michael Weir Michael Weir Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Business), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Energy and Climate Change)

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what steps he is taking to ensure that the smart meter programme will not exceed the projected costs set out in his Department's impact assessment published in January 2014.

Photo of Amber Rudd Amber Rudd The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change

The smart meters programme is designed within the legal framework for the GB energy market. This is based on energy companies competing against each other to supply energy to consumers.

The Government is requiring all energy suppliers through their licence conditions to deliver smart metering. The energy companies have strong commercial incentives to do this as efficiently as possible, all along their supply chain.

Ofgem is responsible for regulating the energy market and is able to intervene where suppliers do not meet their licence conditions. In addition, the Data and Communications Company is regulated by Ofgem to ensure that its services are provided in an economic and efficient manner.

The Government is monitoring progress by all parties on whom the smart metering roll-out depends, to ensure benefits to consumers are delivered.

There is a strong business case for rolling out smart meters. The total cost of this national infrastructure programme needs to be looked at in the context of its overall net benefits, expected to be around £6 billion.

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