Feeds

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

Hard-up punters unimpressed, Whitehall nervous

Business security measures using SSL

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." ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
Apple Watch will CONQUER smartwatch world – analysts
After Applelocalypse, other wristputers will get stuck in
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
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?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.