Feeds

UK.gov threatens to 'pull plug' on smart meter rollout

Hard-up punters unimpressed, Whitehall nervous

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Concerns were raised during a committee hearing in Parliament yesterday over the government's £12bn plan to rapidly roll out smart energy meters in the UK by 2019.

A gap exists in communicating the benefits of smart meters to taxpayers on lower incomes, the House of Commons Public Accounts committee was warned.

"Poorer households are even less engaged with their energy supplier than the rest of the population," said a Which? spokesman at the hearing.

"There's a real risk here that they will also be the least likely to benefit from the smart meter rollout," he added.

Worse still, taxpayers will be saddled with higher bills while the smart meter technology is being rolled out across the UK. A typical consumer will cough £6 per annum per household to help pay for the rollout, for example. Meanwhile, energy companies keep ratcheting up bills.

Permanent secretary Moira Wallace, whose Department for Energy and Climate Change is accountable for delivering the plan on time and to budget, said her dept was paying close attention to previous failed government IT projects in an effort to learn from such public spending disasters.

"We are trying to make sure there is appropriate time for consultation, we're working with industry groups," said Wallace.

She admitted that the department could yet "pull the plug" on the entire project if reviews planned for 2012 and 2013 demonstrated serious problems with the rollout.

"We are very clear that this has to be a programme that delivers for consumers," said Wallace. "We are of course taking advice from the energy industry too... They employ the installers." ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'
iPhones bent in Norwich? As if the place wasn't weird enough
Consumers agree to give up first-born child for free Wi-Fi – survey
This Herod network's ace – but crap reception in bullrushes
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts
New sub cable to go live 2016
New EU digi-commish struggles with concepts of net neutrality
Oettinger all about the infrastructure – but not big on substance
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers
Carrier apologises for 'inflated' measurements cockup
Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS
The others guys are being mean so therefore ... monopoly all good, yeah?
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.