In a bid to combat climate change and cut household bills, the UK government has proposed plans to issue all UK homes with free real-time electricity meters. The government believes that the plan could cut UK carbon dioxide emissions by 400,000 tonnes a year by 2010, equivalent to taking about 100,000 cars off the road.
Under the government’s proposals, electricity suppliers would be required to provide real-time electricity monitors, which show how much electricity is being used and what it costs from moment to moment, free of charge to all customers who want them. In addition, all new and replacement household electricity meters would also come with a visual display.
In press release, the government said that the monitors would help consumers to cut back on unnecessary power use, which would not would not only save them money, but would also help to cut carbon dioxide emissions – a major contributor to climate change. The government commented that, as the monitors can be put in a prominent place within the home, UK consumers will be in a better position to monitor their electricity use.
The government revealed that one estimate suggests that British homes are collectively wasting GBP900 million of electricity a year by leaving appliances on while they are not being used. It added that a typical household could cut its electricity bill by GBP25 a year simply by turning appliances off rather than leaving them on stand-by.
David Miliband, UK secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs, said: People want to do their bit to help protect the environment. If they can save money at the same time, all the better. Visual display units provided free of charge will help people do both.