A smart investment: £14 billion benefit for Britain

Britain will be nearly £14 billion better off thanks to the introduction of smart meters to British homes and businesses

Britain will be nearly £14 billion better off thanks to the introduction of smart meters to British homes and businesses, according to a new report published today by British Gas and Oxford Economics.

Report sees £14 billion gain for Britain

The report, which analyses the costs and benefits of smart meters from 2012 to 2030, finds that whilst the national roll out to every home and business in the country will cost £11.5 billion, the benefits of smart meters could amount to £25.3 billion – a net gain for the country of nearly £14 billion, and a saving of around £65 on a average household energy bill1.

The findings are based on the use of the latest available data and the inclusion of additional benefits not previously considered, making this report the most comprehensive to date.

The key benefits are:

  • £11.2 billion from consumer energy savings. Households and businesses will use less energy by having greater control and understanding of their energy use. Smart meters will also unlock new innovations such as personalised energy efficiency advice.
  • £10.7 billion from efficiency savings for energy suppliers. With the British energy market being one of the most competitive in the world, the report expects much of these savings will be passed onto consumers giving them additional reductions on their energy bills.
  • £3.2 billion from generation related savings.Lower energy demand from smart metering reduces the amount of energy generated and used for consumption in Britain. The savings will be made from carbon reductions in the traded and non-traded energy sectors and carbon savings from time-of-use shifts.

Smart meters will put an end to estimated bills by sending energy suppliers exact meter readings automatically, meaning customers will only pay for the energy they use. Customers will also be given a portable energy display which, for the first time, will tell them how much gas and electricity they are using and its cost in real time. Smart meters are also leading to innovations which will give customers the help they need to cut bills even further.

The Government requires all homes and businesses to have a smart meter installed by 2019. British Gas already has the largest number of smart meters in Britain with over 600,000 installed in homes and businesses so far.

Dean Keeling, Managing Director of British Gas Smart Homes, said:

“Smart meters are good news for households, businesses and Britain. They are fundamentally changing how we use energy, bringing billions of pounds worth of benefits to Britain.

“The facts are plain; smart meters will help people save energy putting money in their back pocket. At British Gas we’re rolling out smart meters as quickly as possible to get the benefits to our customers. We’ve also committed to make sure that customers see the benefit of the savings to the industry, which could mean that customers could see even greater reductions in their bills.”

Andrew Tessler, Senior Economist at Oxford Economics, said:

“This report shows that there is a clear financial benefit to Britain in rolling out smart meters. Together with the creation of the Data Communications Centre (DCC), smart meters can also greatly reduce the time taken to switch suppliers and make switching more convenient for customers.”


1. The average British household would save over £65 per year (£65.50) based on the 5% reduction in energy usage calculated by Oxford Economics, given the average annual dual fuel bill of £1,310 according to Ofgem.

The full Oxford Economics report, The Value of Smart Metering to Great Britain, is available on request.

For more information:

Please contact Joanne Smalley on 07757 613664 or joanne.smalley@britishgas.co.uk


Quantified benefits to Britain from smart metering, 2012-2030 cumulative


Benefits to Britain

2012-2030 cumulative, discounted present value, £ millions, 2011 prices*


Household meters

Small business meters


Energy demand reduction




Efficiency savings for energy market




Carbon-related savings




Meter reading customer benefits (time only)








Source: Oxford Economics, DECC.

*Figures rounded to the nearest million.