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Britain to get smart over home energy use

All homes in Britain are to have "smart meters" installed by 2020 to record energy use, under plans announced by the government yesterday.

The new meters would mean an end to estimated gas and electricity bills, no waiting in for a meter reader to call, and would allow householders to see how much energy they are using, ministers say.

"The meters most of us have in our homes were designed for a different age, before climate change. Now we need to get smarter with our energy," said Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband.

Some 26 million homes and several million businesses would be involved in the project which is estimated to cost 7 billion pounds (US$10.5 billion).

The meters will allow suppliers to take readings remotely and allow them to offer more tariffs, which the government believes will encourage more efficient and economical use, saving consumers money and cutting carbon emissions.

The government is launching a three-month consultation on the proposals.


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