‘Smart meters’ could save on energy bills by 2020

August 25, 2009 at 6:51 pm 2 comments

powerstation
A ‘smart grid’ electricity network and the use of ‘smart meters’ should save consumers money on their energy bills, according to a government minister.

The grid can “intelligently integrate the actions of all users connected to it in order to maximise efficiency in delivery of sustainable, economic and secure electricity supplies,” Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, Minister of State at Department of Energy and Climate Change, said in a written parliamentary answer.

Parliament is on recess until October 12th, but the text of all House of Lords written answers and statements are being posted on Parliament’s website.

“The use of smart meters gives consumers better information and control on energy usage, helping people to manage their energy demand and bills,” Lord Hunt said in answer to Lord Hylton’s question.

“The rollout of smart meters will be an important step towards development of a smart grid.

“The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) published a consultation document on 11 May covering a range of issues to be addressed in deciding how smart meters should be rolled out, including the minimum functionality which should be required of smart meters and possible delivery models.

“The Government estimate that the additional impact in 2020 of policies in the UK Low Carbon Transition Plan1 (such as ‘smart meters’), relative to today, is £76, which is equivalent to approximately a 6 per cent increase to current average household energy bills.

“The transition plan estimates that the additional impact in 2020 of all climate change policies, relative to today, is £92 which is equivalent to approximately 8 per cent of current average household energy bills.

“These estimates of the effects on bills are in 2009 prices, therefore all the increases are in real terms.”

Lord Hunt said the DECC publishes crude oil, wholesale gas and coal price assumptions for the period till 2030, which are used in the department’s analytical work, where relevant and the bill effect figures are based on the “scenario 2 oil price assumptions,” namely $80/barrel of oil in 2020.

He also revealed the UK is to invest up to £60 million in marine energy infrastructure and technology demonstration.

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