The average household in London can expect to save £67 ($102) annually on energy bills between now and 2019 thanks to the installation of smart meters across the UK capital.
That is the finding of new research from Oxford Economics, commissioned by utility provider British Gas (Windsor, UK), on the benefits of the government-mandated smart-meter rollout.
The per-household savings work out at total savings for Londoners of £219.4 million over the next few years.
“This report shows that there is a clear financial benefit to Britain in rolling out smart meters,” said Honwae Wong, an economist at Oxford Economics.
“Real-time feedback, budget-setting tools along with personalized advice mean consumer savings could be even greater than estimated,” added Wong. “Plus in the future smart meters will greatly reduce the time taken to change suppliers making switching more convenient for customers.”
Under government regulations, all British homes must be fitted with smart meters – at no charge to consumers – by the end of 2019.
So far, smart meters have been installed in about 900,000 homes throughout London, according to British Gas.
Smart-meter rollouts have encountered fierce opposition in the US from consumer groups concerned about the health and privacy implications, and British Gas is keen to promote the advantages of the new devices in its statement on the expected savings.
“Smart meters will revolutionize home energy use by putting an end to estimated bills and making it possible to clearly see and understand the energy you’re using as you’re using it,” said Stuart Rolland, the managing director of British Gas Smart Metering. “And as the figures show, smart meters will help people save energy, keeping bills under control.”