The government is expected to this week announce a plan to roll-out smart meters to tackle emissions and prices from energy suppliers, but consumer benefits could be small.
Each smart meter is expected to cost £340 to deploy, but each one will produce an average annual saving of just £28, meaning the cost of the scheme could take over 12 years to be fully recouped, reports the Telegraph.
With the roll-out scheme forecast to exceed £9 billion in costs, the development could cause controversy, especially as details have yet to be confirmed as to where the funding will come from.
Dr Fiona Cochrane, energy campaigner for consumer group Which?, told the paper: "We are concerned because it has been clear all along that there were major benefits for the energy companies and these were being guaranteed by the government."
She added that consumer benefits are less clear-cut, except for the promise of accurate billing.
Energy companies will immediately save money as they will no longer have to send staff out to read meters.
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