Smart electricity scheme to be unveiled

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A new £20 million plan to introduce 'smart' electricity meters into UK homes will be unveiled by the government today.

The meters are designed to reduce energy usage and will send real time information on energy use to remote displays, computer screens or television sets. Around 8,000 households will get clip-on display units linked to their original meter and another 17,000 will be given advice on how to economise on energy when they next come to pay their bill.

EDF Energy, E.ON UK, Scottish and Southern Energy and Scottish Power will share the costs of the trial

"Changing consumer habits is vital if we are to cut our energy use and reduce the impact of climate change," Business Secretary John Hutton said.

"Smart meters provide the cutting edge technology to enable this to happen. The results of the trials will provide invaluable evidence to support the future rollout of displays and smart meters; helping to cut consumer bills and cut our carbon emissions."

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