MPs concerned about ‘obvious risks’ of £12bn smart meter rollout

MPs are concerned about the “obvious risks” of the UK’s planned £11.7bn roll-out of smart meters. Government wants 53 million homes and businesses in the country to get a smart […]

By Vicky Ellis

MPs are concerned about the “obvious risks” of the UK’s planned £11.7bn roll-out of smart meters.

Government wants 53 million homes and businesses in the country to get a smart meter – which sends information between the user and the energy supplier, supposedly improving the accuracy of bills – by 2019.

Yesterday MPs on the Public Accounts Committee said they were worried about the plans, which energy firms are legally obliged to carry out.

Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the Committee of Public Accounts said: “There are obvious risks in implementing such a large IT project which cannot be ignored. They include the practical difficulties of procuring and installing the data communications service and the security of the information held.

“Of even more concern is how the programme will affect vulnerable consumers and those on low incomes. The Department should set out how it intends to ensure vulnerable and low income consumers do not miss out on the benefits from smart metering.”

Ms Hodge added smart meters could allow energy companies to disconnect customers without entering the property, which means DECC must make sure there are “proper safeguards” to protect the vulnerable, elderly and those on low incomes.