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UK Government Outlines Plans to Reduce the Energy we Use at Home

New technology in the home so you can track the energy you use and clearer more understandable energy bills are part of a consultation launched by Trade Secretary Alistair Darling today.

The Energy Review said that saving energy must be the starting point for cutting carbon. The Government is today asking energy suppliers to improve the information in customers' bills. Consideration is also being given to providing households with gadgets which show how much energy a household is using.

Alistair Darling said:

"We want to do more to help people reduce their electricity bills and tackle climate change. We can cut carbon and cut costs with clearer bills and better ways of measuring energy use. It can help us make greener choices.

"If people have more information about how much energy they use, they use less. Display devices and better bills have been shown to reduce energy consumption by as much as 12 per cent. This in turn could cut the average electricity bill by £ 25 - £30.

"That is good news for the environment and consumers."

Climate Change and Environment Minister Ian Pearson said the improved energy billing and metering could help customers make better informed decisions about their energy use.

Mr Pearson said:

"Display devices can be a key way for individuals to engage with their energy use, giving them much greater control over their bills and their carbon footprint.

"Linking this to proposals for better billing could help us all make more informed decisions about our energy consumption.

"This consultation is an important first step to transforming the way we interact with our energy use."

Key parts of the consultation today include:

  • Requiring suppliers to provide historical information to customers about their energy use. This should make customers have a greater awareness of their energy consumption and make them more efficient.
  • Considering whether suppliers would be required to get actual meter readings regularly to help improve accuracy of bills.
  • Considering whether householders should be provided with a 'display device' which gives instant information on the amount of electricity being used. The Government is not asking people to buy these, but is looking to energy suppliers to roll these out to their customers. The consultation document asks for views on this can be done best.
  • Asking for views from business on whether it faces any specific issues when it comes to being more energy efficient.

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