Decc publishes raft of smart meter rollout rules and proposals

Smart meter installers must provide energy efficiency advice but steer clear of sales pitching, the government has concluded in a programme update published today.

Energy suppliers must offer, but need not impose upon, householders an in-home display that shows how much energy they are using and what it costs.

The Department for Energy and Climate Change (Decc) is also launching consultations on data access, consumer engagement and licence conditions for the data and communications company.

Energy minister Charles Hendry said: "In less than three years energy suppliers will begin the mass rollout of smart meters across the country and I am determined that consumers are at the heart of this ambitious programme.

"That is why today we are proposing tough guidelines on installation, which will minimise inconvenience and help people to make the most of their smart meters to save energy and save money."

Consumer Focus welcomed the ban on sales during installation and supported proposals to address consumer concerns around privacy of information.

Mike O'Connor, chief executive of Consumer Focus, said: "It is also welcome that the Government has recognised the need for a much stronger and better co-ordinated strategy to engage consumers.

"Smart meters will only help people to become more energy efficient and cut their bills if they are able to easily understand and use the new technology."

A universal rollout of smart meters for gas and electricity is due to start in 2014 and be completed by the end of 2019.

Christine McGourty, director of industry body Energy UK, said today's publications marked an important milestone in the smart metering programme.

"Energy suppliers are working closely with DECC and other stakeholders to ensure that smart meters deliver real benefits to people in homes and businesses around Britain, and to ensure that protections for customers are robust," she said.

"We also welcome the opportunity to continue to contribute to the consultation on the consumer engagement strategy, which has a crucial role to play."

All relevant documents can be found here.

Author: Paul Newton,
Channel: Policy & Regulation
Tags: Metering , Smart Metering , Government and NGOs

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