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Smart meter rollout extension is “common-sense move”, says Citizens Advice
Citizens Advice has responded to the news that the government is proposing to extend the smart meter rollout deadline to 2024 and the release of the latest cost-benefit analysis of the programme.
In its role as the official consumer champion for energy, Citizens Advice has been publicly calling for the rollout deadline to be extended since August 2018.
Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:
“Extending the smart meter rollout deadline is a common-sense move that is good news for consumers. It’s been clear for a long time that the 2020 deadline wouldn’t be met and this announcement finally recognises that reality.
“This new deadline gives suppliers time to fix ongoing technical problems and make sure customer service isn’t sidelined as the rollout continues. We’ve seen some energy companies use aggressive techniques to try to persuade people to have smart meters fitted as soon as possible to meet the existing timeline.
“It’s also apparent that the cost of the rollout is escalating, and the public are picking up the tab through their energy bills. People will still benefit in the long run, but today’s cost-benefit analysis shows focusing on speed hasn’t worked.
”We are pleased the government is extending the deadline to ensure the benefits for consumers are delivered.”
The ‘benefits’ to smart meters, as calculated by the Department for Business, Energy and industrial Strategy, combine saving to consumers, suppliers and network operators. Examples are improved energy efficiency, fewer site visits and meter readings, and better forecasting of energy use.
Notes to editors
- Citizens Advice includes the national charity; the network of independent local Citizens Advice charities across England and Wales; the Citizens Advice consumer service; and the Witness Service.
- Citizens Advice is the statutory consumer advocate for energy and post. We provide supplier performance information to consumers and policy analysis to decision makers.
- The Citizens Advice Witness Service provides free, independent support for prosecution and defence witnesses in every criminal court in England and Wales.
- Citizens Advice offers Pension Wise services at 500 locations in England and Wales.
- Citizens Advice’s services are free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to all regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
- To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice, visit citizensadvice.org.uk
- For consumer advice, call the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 to talk in Welsh.
- We helped 2.6 million people face to face, by phone, email and webchat in 2017-18. For service statistics see our monthly publication Advice trends.
- Citizens Advice staff are supported by over 23,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 locations in England and Wales.
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