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UK homes 'to see improved access to smart meters'

Up to 30 million properties across the UK will be fitted with smart meters to monitor their energy consumption by 2019 as part of a new pledge from the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

According to energy and climate change minister Charles Hendry, estimated billing is a major headache for millions of property owners across the UK at present, as people do not have access to accurate billing information.

Many people are building up debts with their energy providers as a result of increased consumption and this coupled with rising costs is a major threat to not only household finance, but to the economy in general.

He commented: "That is why today we are proposing tough guidelines on installation, which will minimise inconvenience and help people to make the most of their smart meters to save energy and save money.

"In addition, I want to be absolutely clear to consumers that they will be in control of their energy consumption data."

As a result, a consultation document on bringing an end to the practice of estimated billing has been put forward, with the paper outlining proposals including a ban on marketing operations during the installation of smart meters.

It also includes a call for companies to provide energy efficiency advice as part of any visit and all households to be offered an in-home display to highlight their level of consumption.

Furthermore, the government is planning the creation of a centralised communications platform to better educate the public regarding the use of smart meters and their energy consumption and expenditure in general.

The news follows the government's planned rollout of additional investment opportunities for the delivery of more new homes across the country over the coming years.

A focus on the Real Estate Investment Trust's model has been put forward by the Department for Communities and Local Government, with increasing levels of interest being seen in this form of property investment in recent months. 

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