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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-07647: Andy Wightman (Lothian)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 2 March 2017

To ask the Scottish Government how it works with the (a) UK Government and (b) energy companies to promote the use of smart meters.

Answered by: Paul Wheelhouse 16 March 2017

The Scottish Government recognises the importance of the roll-out of smart meters as a national modernisation programme that has the potential to bring benefits to Scottish energy consumers if properly implemented.

We have and continue to engage extensively, not only with the UK Government and energy companies, but with industry as a whole to ensure the programme is delivered to the greatest number of Scottish consumers, at the lowest possible cost, whilst enhancing the benefits to the most vulnerable in
our society and those at risk of fuel poverty.

In December 2016 we convened a summit of utility companies to target the identified inequalities in the energy market which included detailed discussion on the smart meter roll out and it's potential to make a material difference to those suffering the greatest degree of detriment in the energy market. We continue to build on these discussions and will hold a follow up event in 2017 extended to include consumer group representatives.

On 24 January we launched the draft Energy Strategy alongside a suite of consultations that includes the Scottish Energy Efficiency Programme (SEEP). These consultations seek views on how we will achieve our vision for the future energy system in Scotland, for the period to 2050 and include consultations questions around the opportunities to link SEEP delivery with other initiatives, including the smart meter rollout, so to maximise the benefits for the people of Scotland. These consultation can be accessed via the following link: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2017/01/3414

We welcome responses to the draft Energy Strategy and SEEP consultation which are due to close on 30 May 2017.

In February we responded to a Ofgem consultation on proposed regulatory amendments to large energy suppliers smart meter roll-out plans. Our response highlighted the importance of balancing the challenging 2020 deadline with the delivery of a positive customer experience given that 32% of the programme’s benefits are attributed to expected consumer energy saving behaviour.