After obtaining a £600m contract from British Gas for more than 10m meters, smart meter manufacturer Landis+Gyr is planning to create 600 new jobs in the United Kingdom. A smart meter, by design, sends electricity and gas readings back to the energy supplier without having to send a person out to read the meter or estimate usage. By 2020, the government hopes to have a smart meter in every home in the United Kingdom, effectively putting an end to estimated billing.
Chris Weston, managing director at British Gas says the meters will “transform the way people think about and use energy.” He thinks the meters will save £65 off an annual dual fuel bill by encouraging people to reduce usage by as much as 5pc. Energy giant Centrica, which owns the company, claims the smart meter will decrease the strain on the power grid. New tariffs will be rewarded to customers that shift their energy usage to times of lower demand.
Critics of the program warn of privacy concerns and say the smart metering rollout cost of £12.1bn will be passed on to consumers in the form of higher rates. Consumers will receive a monitor display in their home displaying real time usage and daily readings will be sent to suppliers. Landis+Gyr’s costs are in line with government estimates of £43 for electricity meters, £56 for gas meters and £15 for the display monitor. The Toshiba owned company is planning on adding 600 new jobs to its factories in Peterborough and Stockport, doubling its workforce and possibly opening a new factory.
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