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Warning to millions of households as Smart Meter changes could see 'surge in pricing'

Warning to millions of households as Smart Meter changes could see 'surge in pricing' (Photo: Shutterstock)
Warning to millions of households as Smart Meter changes could see 'surge in pricing' (Photo: Shutterstock)

Smart Meters are reportedly set to undergo major changes which could see a "surge in pricing" for millions of people across the UK.

According to a new report, smart meters will automatically send suppliers updates every 30 minutes on customer power use from May 2022, possibly paving the way for "time of use" tariffs.

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What effect will this have on household bills?

Potentially, customers could be charged for different rates of energy throughout the day depending on the demand, industry experts claim. Meaning some customers could be paying more at peak times.

However, energy bosses have insisted that this will be optional for customers, and households can opt-in to have their energy usage measured automatically every half-hour.

Bosses have also said that this move may even save money.

The Telegraph has reported the change to 30-minute updates will be the default by May and households who don’t want to be part of this option will have to opt-out.

What has been said?

An Ofgem spokesman told The Telegraph the move is a step towards a greener UK: “This major system upgrade is a significant milestone on Britain’s path to net zero.

“It will enable a more efficient, flexible and greener energy system which will save billions of pounds per year on all consumers’ energy bills.

“Ofgem will work closely with industry to make sure it delivers this major upgrade while ensuring those in vulnerable circumstances remain protected.”

Ofgem’s website says smart meters are “a key enabler for the transition to a more flexible energy market and the delivery of net zero”.

It also said the "near real-time information" offered will allow customers to "“better manage their energy use, save money and reduce emissions”.

On Wednesday 9 February 2022, Octopus Energy chief executive Greg Jackson told the Telegraph: “This change would be extremely good for consumers.

“I cannot imagine that any energy company is going to force time of use tariffs on customers, so it is like the reduced yellow-label food items at supermarkets."