E.ON’s New Business Director Don Leiper says, “We welcome the Government’s commitment to reducing domestic carbon emissions through programs like the Green Deal and the smart metering roll out. But we now need to take this a step further and work together with Government to engage consumers and make sure they understand how they can benefit from these programs. We’re already making sure that the customer is at the heart of our approach to the Green Deal and smart metering, but our commitment needs to be backed up by a Government education program and support from other key groups like Ofgem and consumer bodies.”
The Committee on Climate Change’s third annual report to Parliament stressed there was a lack of progress in reducing emissions in 2010 and urged the Government to present detailed policies to support power sector decarbonisation and energy efficiency in homes and businesses.
The National Audit Office has also expressed concerns about the financial benefits of smart metering, noting there was no clear-cut proof that smart meters lead to reduced energy consumption so the office is asking the Government to focus on a consumer engagement strategy.
Leiper notes: “The Committee on Climate Change is right to point to the Green Deal as a key part of the plan for driving down carbon emissions. But we all accept that, while ambitious targets will ensure we maintain focus, customers will also need to have sufficient incentives to take up the Green Deal finance package in the first place. We believe these should include lower interest rates and national incentives such as stamp duty reductions. But energy suppliers also need to be able to work with our customers to help them to understand how the Green Deal could benefit them, building on the work that, in E.ON’s case, we have already done through our Energy Fit campaign. The same is true of smart metering – we need to work with customers, meeting their needs and addressing any potential concerns, if smart metering is to be a success.”
E.ON opened their Smart Metering Centre of Excellence in May this year and urges the Government to protect against overly restrictive constraints preventing energy suppliers from helping their customers use the information from their smart meter to reduce their power usage.