On 11th May 2009 the government unveiled plans for every home in Britain to be equipped with smart meters by the end of 2020. These meters allow suppliers to remotely record customers' gas and electricity use, and let consumers see how much energy they are using. Some 26 million electricity and 22 million gas meters will need to be fitted at a cost of £7bn. Smart meters end the need to dispatch meter readers, meaning huge savings for energy firms who hope bills will fall. It is also claimed that smart meters will mean an end to estimated bills and call centre staff who deal with related complaints.
From "The Connexion", France's English-language newspaper:
A TRIAL into a new type of electricity meter that will be compulsory in most homes within ten years has hit a problem - 99.9% of them do not work. Out of the 19,000 meters installed in Tours on a trial basis, only eight of them work properly, according to "Le Parisien". The others functioned like an ordinary meter and did not send any data back to the supplier. EDF said in a statement: "Not all the meters are sending data back because we have not yet activated all of the functions. We will carry out some more tests." The cost of installing the meters across France is estimated at up to €9bn - and consumers will foot the bill, with the €230 cost of each individual meter broken down into small installments on energy bills between now and 2020.