Energy firms believe that consumers should pay their share given that the services they receive as a result of switching to better system will improve.
However, many consumer groups are angry at the possibility that the cost of electricity and gas could be increased dramatically to pay for the development of a smart grid.
Audrey Gallacher, energy expert at Consumer Focus, explained: "Investment in the energy networks is needed, but companies dont have a blank cheque and consumers cannot be expected to pick up the full tab - energy company shareholders need to pay their fair share of the investment bill."
Meanwhile, the National Grid has released a report, which shows the need for improvement in energy storage if the UK is to meet its renewable energy targets.
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