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British Gas boss calls for mandatory smart meter installations

The Chief Executive Officer of Centrica, Chris O’Shea, has stirred controversy by proposing that all UK households should be compelled to install smart meters.

Speaking before a committee of MPs on Wednesday, O’Shea, who heads the parent company of British Gas, argued that such a mandatory programme would significantly diminish the expenses associated with establishing a smart grid.

O’Shea emphasised the potential benefits of a “street by street” installation approach, suggesting that dividing the UK into segments for installation could expedite the process.

Mr O’Shea told MPs: “In order to have the proper smart grid – that is required to keep costs low in the future and have a responsive grid – everyone should have a smart meter. One of the things we should consider is whether this should be a voluntary programme or a mandatory programme.

“We have 1,700 smart meter installers and we would be happy to install smart meters for Octopus, for E.ON, for anybody. We would split the UK up street by street, rather than customer by customer. If you mandated it, then we could have that change in programme. It could be done within the next five years or so.”

Rachel Fletcher, a director at the rival energy company Octopus, said: “This should not be done to consumers.

“What we see [at Octopus] is people queueing up asking for a smart meter where we are offering tariffs or tools which allow them to save … hundreds of pounds a year.”

Energy Live News
Energy Live News
This article first appeared on Energy Live News, an award winning news service. Their mission is to give you balanced news, analysis, commentary of energy from their dedicated team of quality journalists and production staff.
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