British Gas has awarded a smart meters contract to a Swiss firm worth £600 million, believed to be the single biggest order for the technology.
The agreement means Landis+Gyr, a Swiss metering company bought in 2011 by Toshiba will supply British Gas with the majority of the 16 million gas and electricity meters in UK homes and create around 600 jobs.
It is part of the Government’s ambitious plan for smart meters to be installed in every household in the country by 2020 in a bid to cut energy costs.
Smart meters will replace current gas and electricity meters and will allow consumers to see how much energy is being used in their homes, with the meter readings being sent directly to suppliers – putting an end to estimated bills.
The average British household is expected to save £65.50 every year based on the 5% reduction in energy usage, given the annual dual fuel bill of £1,310. However, Ministers have warned the savings may not materialise if costs of installing them in homes “spiral” and a report from DECC last week also revealed the public reaction to smart meters remains lukewarm.
Chris Weston, Managing Director of British Gas said: “Smart meters herald a new era for energy customers, bringing a transformation in the way they can manage energy use in their homes and businesses. Our £600m investment in Landis+Gyr’s smart metering solutions means we can provide smart meters cost-effectively to our customers and bring them the benefits of this innovative technology as soon as possible.”
The energy giant previously announced more than 1,000 roles for Smart Energy Experts who will install smart meters and provide energy efficiency advice to householders.
New rules and guidance aimed at protecting customers and making sure they receive a high standard of service when getting a smart meter installed were launched earlier this year.