Today directors from energy companies will be probed on the progress of the ambitious nationwide smart meter rollout.
Representatives from big suppliers British Gas and E.ON plus smaller supplier Ovo Energy will appear before MPs on the energy select committee to give their verdict on the government-mandated scheme.
‘Smart meters’ are electricity and gas meters which talk to the supplier and by 2020, as many as 53 million of the things are expected to be put in people’s homes and small businesses.
At the start of the year, one IT expert reckoned the smart meter rollout is “lining up to be the next major government IT disaster”. Questions have been raised about whether the predicted benefits – £17.1 billion in savings to consumers – will materialise after the £10.9 billion scheme.
However the government is adamant it can be done on time and to budget.
MPs clearly want to get the customer’s take on the whole thing, with the chief executive of charity National Energy Action, Jenny Saunders called in to give evidence this morning.
They have also summoned the boss of Indian firm Secure Meters Group, Sanjaya Singhal, whose British arm took part in a three-year Ofgem trial to see how people reacted to getting more energy information from smart meters and in-home displays. The group has 12.5 million meters and devices in more than 50 countries.