Cheap electricity requires the introduction of smart meters

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Smart metering must be a vital part of the UK's energy infrastructure if bills are to be kept under control and the environmental damage caused by consumption is to be avoided, it has been claimed.

Despite the huge cost of rolling out smart meters in every home in the UK, the devices are integral to the creation of a smart grid.

Writing for the Times, Ted Hopcroft, an energy specialist with PA Consulting, said: "The UK did a brilliant job of creating the world's first truly liberalised domestic energy market."

"However, competition was driven down to very low levels, including segregation of the metering business," he added.

But, Mr Hopcroft has questioned whether smart meters will actually change energy customers' behaviour, resulting in them turning off appliances and reducing their electricity and gas bills.

Recently, Wokingham Borough Council announced it was to introduce a new energy saving scheme, which would see it turn of 1,000 street lights between midnight and 05:30 BST.

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