npower has started installing smart meters for its customers, following in the footsteps of rival domestic utility company British Gas.
Smart meters are automated electronic units attached to gas or electricity meters which transmit readings to suppliers and allow consumers to monitor the process.
A spokesman for npower says: “Smart meters provide remote meter information to suppliers and do away with meter readers.”
British Gas is also running a test trial for about 50,000 homes in the Manchester and north London areas.
The move comes in the wake of a call to Ofgem by consumer watchdog National Electricity Consumers’ Council (NECC) last week “to take positive action to promote the development of smart metering”.
The benefits of smart meters include more precise prices for prepayment meter customers and regular official readings as opposed to estimated bills.
Both the NECC and Ofgem were unaware of npower’s foray into smart meters.