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One in four households now have smart meters

A quarter of households in Britain have had a smart meter installed, MPs were told this morning.

At a meeting of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee – which scrutinises the Government's energy and business policy – Energy Minister Claire Perry said that 12.8 million smart meters had been rolled out, meaning "in general a quarter of all households have had an installation".

But she added that only 250,000 'switchable' meters had been installed as of last week, of which only 10,000 were in the north of England and Scotland. Perry admitted this was "far too few".

What are smart meters?

Smart gas and electricity meters are being installed by energy companies and should be offered to everyone in England, Scotland and Wales by 2020 – although a report by the National Audit Office in November said that this will not be met.

The meters send automatic meter readings straight to your supplier, theoretically ending estimated bills.

But first generation 'SMETS 1' meters frequently stop working when you switch supplier, so you'd need to start doing manual meter readings again if you did so. SMETS 2, the newer type, allow you to switch while keeping your meter's functionality.

SMETS 1 meters will no longer be installed from March. If you have one already, the plan is that in due course you will be able to remotely upgrade it with software to allow it to meet SMETS 2 specifications.

What to read next...

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