UK Government Underestimated Smart-Meters Cost, Says Expert

The UK government has been alerted that the cost of rolling out smart meters across the country could be more than what had been estimated earlier.

Last week, the government approved installation of 47 million new gas and electricity meters, which can check energy-use in real-time, at an estimated cost anywhere between £7 billion and £9 billion, or £269 to £346 per household.

However, the audit company Ernst and Young claimed that the cost of such a massive installation could go well beyond £13 billion, or £515 per household, which is around £6 billion more than that of the estimated cost.

Ernst and Young’s power and utilities partner Tony Ward asserted that the government figures underestimated the cost of additional technology and infrastructure needed to support the smart meters.

Quoting the same, Mr Ward said, “Very big and complex projects of this sort always cost more than anticipated. We very rarely see one [big project] that comes in at the original estimate.”

The figures could spark concerns among customers, as rise in the estimated cost could eventually lead to substantial hike in their energy bills. In addition, the figures would further call the financial viability of this ambitious project into question.