Just one in three households with a smart meter have seen energy use reduced, new survey suggests

Just one in three households with a smart meter have seen energy use reduced, new survey suggests

  • The gadgets are being pushed into the home as part of a £13.5billion campaign 
  • Survey found 53 per cent of smart meter owners hadn’t changed energy usage
  • Sixteen per cent said they used even more energy in survey of 1,000 households 

Only one in three households have reduced their energy use after having a smart meter installed, a damning survey has revealed.

The gadgets, which are being pushed into every home in a shambolic £13.5billion campaign, promised to slash power bills by showing households how much they were spending in real time.

But a survey of 1,000 households by researchers Consumer Intelligence for the Daily Mail found that 53 per cent of smart meter owners had not changed their energy usage after having one installed – and 16 per cent said they were using more energy.

Only one in three households have reduced their energy use after having a smart meter installed, according to a damning survey

Only 31 per cent said they were using less power, including just 3 per cent who said they were now using considerably less. The programme to install smart meters in all homes is already behind schedule and massively over budget.

Only half are now expected to have a smart meter by the original 2020 deadline and the cost has surged by £2.5billion to £13.5billion. The gadgets automatically send readings to suppliers and displays show households the cost of the energy as they use it.

The idea is that they encourage households to cut their energy consumption – saving money and helping the environment. Families are paying an average of around £10 a year more through their bills to fund the scheme and it is not expected to save money until 2022.

Last night Mark Todd, of price comparison service energyhelpline, said: ‘It’s shocking that only a third of customers are reporting that they are using less energy after having a smart meter fitted as that’s one of the key justifications for the £13.5billion rollout.

A survey of 1,000 households by researchers Consumer Intelligence for the Daily Mail found that 53 per cent of smart meter owners had not changed their energy usage after having one installed – and 16 per cent said they were using more energy

A survey of 1,000 households by researchers Consumer Intelligence for the Daily Mail found that 53 per cent of smart meter owners had not changed their energy usage after having one installed – and 16 per cent said they were using more energy

‘The Government needs to make the programme much more effective and get customers back on side.’

Energy providers have been under huge pressure to install the devices in homes and face multi-million-pound fines if they cannot prove they have taken all reasonable steps to do so. Households have complained of technical problems with the devices.

Smart Energy GB, the body overseeing the programme, said its own survey recently found that 49 per cent of people with a smart meter said it was helping them to save money.

Robert Cheesewright, of Smart Energy GB, said: ‘These aren’t figures we recognise. We survey over 10,000 people twice a year and those results show that people use their smart meters and in-home display to help them save money.

‘Every household that installs a smart meter is helping to create a greener energy system that will reduce pollution and make better use of cheaper renewable energy.