The smart meter project has come under increasing scrutiny, with the deadline to offer one to every home just over a year away. All eyes are now on the new government's approach to the project and when a new deadline is likely to be set.
Why don't utilities talk face to face with their customers? Energy companies have been talking about changing their offering to customers - becoming an energy service company, talking about managing usage, giving them the green message - but much of the money spent to get that message across has gone on improving other companies' relationships with utility customers.
China took almost three quarters (71 per cent) of the 73 million smart meters shipped globally in 2011. While record numbers were deployed, however, the pace of growth slowed during the fourth quarter as some projects wound down and fewer big projects were announced.