§ 2. Mr. Freeman
asked the Secretary of State for Energy when he last met the chairman of the Electricity Council to discuss the results of trials on the introduction of remote meter reading for electricity consumption.
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Energy (Mr. Alastair Goodlad)
As the trials are still in progress, it has not been possible to discuss the results with the chairman of the Electricity Council.
§ Mr. Freeman
Does my hon. Friend agree that if the trials are successful, the electronic reading of the 4 consumption of gas, electricity and water will be facilitated? Does my hon. Friend also agree that if that can be done, there will be two advantages: first, that the house owner will be able to see, by visual display in the house, exactly what is being consumed and therefore how much is owed; and, secondly, the important principle in all utility consumption that the consumer is paying for what is consumed and therefore metered?
§ Mr. Goodlad
As I have said, the trials are still in progress. The indications are that the electricity cable can be successfully used for joint remote reading purposes by all three utilities. Feedback from consumers indicates that they positively welcome the information provided by the display unit.
If the present trials are successful, the next essential step will be to establish the cost-benefits of the large-scale introduction of such a system in order to justify the investment needed.