energywatch, the UK-based independent gas and electricity consumer watchdog, has urged the energy industry to take advantage of ongoing meter replacement programmes and start installing smart meters as soon as possible. The call comes on the day that MEPs voted to approve a Draft European Directive that will lead to the mandatory installation of smart meters that show exactly how much energy you use and when you use it. The meters can also be read remotely.

Allan Asher, Chief Executive of energywatch, said: "There is no good reason why energy companies should continue to install old-fashioned meters and miss the opportunity to put in 'smart' technology now. Around 2.5 million new meters are installed every year in British homes and businesses. Competition in the metering service industry means that this figure is likely to rise rapidly.

"With many new meters being installed every day, this is a golden chance for the industry to seize the moment and use smarter technology to save themselves and their customers millions of pounds."

www.energywatch.org.uk