Smart Meter scheme to kill estimated bills delayed by a year

The government's wizard wheeze to install Internet-connected meters in UK houses has hit a roadblock.

The British government's ploy to squeeze Internet-capable energy meters into UK homes has been delayed by a year, with industry bods saying that designing the high-tech gadgets will take more time.

The project, which will cost £11.7bn, will now kick off in autumn 2015, the BBC reports. With the year's delay taken into account, it's now anticipated that every UK home will be fitted with a smart meter by 2020.

The wizard wheeze is moving slowly, having been  on the boil since 2009 .

The advantage of having a smart meter would be that -- in theory -- they'd put an end to estimated bills, as your connected meter would know exactly how much electricity and gas your home had been consuming, and would send that figure directly back to the energy company.

That could save you money, and might give you more insight into how much energy you're using, as consumption would be displayed in pounds and pence, the government says.

The disadvantage is the enormous cost of the process, which was due to kick off in the summer next year. There's still debate around whether the project is a smart move, and exactly how much benefit there would be to ordinary Brits.

Energy secretary Ed Davey is quoted as calling the scheme, "An enormous logistical and technical challenge".

"Getting this right for consumers is the government's priority," Davey reportedly said.

Would you happily slap a smart meter inside your house? Or would the government's cash be better spent elsewhere? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook wall.

About the author

Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.


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