Burnham-On-Sea’s MP James Heappey has spoken out in a debate in Westminster on the Government’s smart meter roll-out, sharing concerns of several MPs about the progress in meeting targets for the programme.
Smart meters are a new kind of gas and electricity meter that can digitally send meter readings to your energy supplier and ensure more accurate energy bills.
Smart meters also come with monitors, so home owners can better understand their energy usage. Every home in Britain is due to have a smart meter installed by 2020.
Mr Heappey said: “I hope that the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will embrace the importance of digitising the energy system and the role of smart meters within that.”
“Digitising the energy system is key to delivering a decentralised generation system. It is also key to achieving greater efficiency in how we use energy, which, of course, will lead to lower prices.”
He added: “We need to make sure that the energy market is set up to allow smart meters to deliver real savings.”
Nick Hurd, Minister of State for Climate Change and Industry, responding to the motion, said: “The roll-out is a good thing and a long overdue upgrade of an outdated system… we want to send a strong signal of our commitment to ensuring that every household and small business is offered a smart meter by the end of 2020… there are big challenges, but it is wrong to slip back on our ambition, not least because we can point to good progress being made.”
Speaking afterwards, Mr Heappey said: “The smart meter roll out is much less glamorous than improvements to the road, rail, broadband or mobile infrastructure and yet it is every bit as important. They are the foundations on which the energy system will be digitised and so it is vitally important that the Government, Ofgem and the industry come together with renewed enthusiasm to hit the ambitious targets that have been set.”
“Just as importantly, however, is the need to make sure that when people get a smart meter, it actually does something that they think worthwhile.”
“That means the Government needs to tackle issues over connectivity and data and the energy market needs to be structured in a way that allows the full benefits of a digitised system to be realised.”