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ECA urges UK government to ensure affordable smart meter tariffs

Business and consumer bodies have previously raised concerns over the potential increase in customer energy bills following the installation of smart meters

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ECA highlights "a missed opportunity" within the UK's smart meter plans
ECA highlights "a missed opportunity" within the UK's smart meter plans

The Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) has called on the Government to ensure that smart meter tariffs are ‘affordable’ for both businesses and consumers.

 

In response to government consultation on developing a smart energy system and the move to smart metering, the trade body said energy suppliers should be pressed to offer “a range of flexible, fair and affordable tariffs”.

 

Business and consumer bodies, including the Institute of Directors and Which? magazine, have previously raised concerns over the potential increase in customer energy bills following the installation of smart meters.

 

In addition, the ECA response also drew attention to what it described as a “huge missed opportunity” within the Government’s smart meter plans – specifically that contractors are prevented from providing broader energy efficiency advice and solutions to businesses and consumers during the installations.

 

“The importance of a smart energy grid cannot be understated – it would provide a compelling answer to some of the challenges we face today about energy usage, cost and security,” said Bill Wright, head of energy solutions at the ECA. “However, it is vital this once in a generation opportunity is not wasted, and that means ensuring business and consumer bills are fair, and that installers can offer comprehensive energy advice to their customers.”

 

The ECA response also highlighted the need for the government to increase the thresholds at which energy suppliers can charge businesses for supplying additional power to the grid – a key step if energy storage is to become commonplace across the energy market.

 

Furthermore, the ECA urged the government to take steps to protect the smart energy system from cyber-attacks, by ensuring that a back-up supply of energy can step in during any outage.

 

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