Steve McCabe MP (Birmingham, Selly Oak) has slammed the rising costs for consumers following the failure of the Government’s programme to install smart meters in every UK household before 2020.
The massive shortfall shows the total failure of the Government’s strategy but also suggests consumer reluctance is based on a feeling that energy companies promoting smart meters do not necessarily have consumer’s best interests at heart. A radio advert by Smart Energy GB which aired in July 2018 has been banned after listeners complained that the advert promoted misleading claims that consumers could save money simply by getting a smart meter installed. The reality is that households are already paying an average £18 extra on their bills to support the smart meter programme.
Not only have there been delays to the roll-out which was originally meant for 2016, but a report by the National Audit Office in 2018 said that the estimated cost of the smart meter programme has spiralled by £500m since 2016’s original £11bn figure. Delays to this roll-out will mean increased costs for consumers as energy companies are recouping the costs of the programme by adding them to consumer bills.
Steve McCabe has said:
“Customers are not only paying for rising energy costs, but they are footing the bill for this Government fiasco. The smart meter programme is just not working for too many households. It’s costing people money rather than saving it at a time when fuel poverty is such a critical issue in my constituency and across the UK, the Government urgently need to rethink this catastrophic consequences of this roll-out”.