Nearly a third of consumers in the UK back changes to government policy scrapping a commitment to install smart meters in 26 million homes by the end of the decade, new research has found.
As announced in the Queen’s speech, Theresa May’s government will continue to encourage homes to have the energy monitoring devices installed, but has now said that homeowners will be offered the choice to have a meter put in their homes, rather than being forced to do so.
The change comes as new research by Echo Managed Services found that 31% of customers think they should be given the choice about whether to have a smart meter installed or not.
Last week’s announcement is a watering down of then Prime Minister David Cameron’s government’s plan to install 47 million meters into all UK households, however, it is claimed that this new plan will still provide savings of £300 million annually by 2020, increasing to £1.2bn by 2030.
Commenting on the announcement and research findings, Chris Cullen, head of sales and marketing at Echo Managed Services, said: “Giving customers a choice about the services and products they use is a key factor in successful consumer relations and this announcement will be welcomed by homeowners.
“We know there is an appetite for smart meters among UK homeowners, but one of the most common complaints we heard was that people thought this rollout was being enforced on them without properly understanding the benefits so this decision will go some way to calming those issues. In addition, clearly articulating the benefits of meters to customers is vital, without this it can’t be expected that householders will readily agree to meter installation.”
These findings come at the same time similar research revealed that one in five customers could resist having a smart meter installed, primarily due to concerns over data security and privacy.