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Energy companies in Australia are watching the roll out of a new “Smart Meters” system in the UK with a view to launching a similar system in Australia say executives at Energy Australia.

Smart meters are intelligent electronic electricity and gas readers that send accurate information to the energy companies about a household’s consumption, scrapping the need for someone to come and check the meter. In some cases the meters are read by satellites.

The UK scheme which is set to cost evey UK household over $900 will immediately save money say the experts.

“I can only see benefits for us, and for customers,” said Phil Bentley, the managing director of British Gas told the UK Daily Telegraph. “There will be no more incorrect estimated bills, which is a hideous cause for complaint.”

In the UK, energy companies will each install their own meters, but the machines will conform to an agreed standard and feed the data to a central IT company. This will allow consumers to switch between suppliers without the need to swap their meters. The energy companies believe that they will save large amounts of money by being able to offer cheap energy to customers at off-peak times, as well as saving money from eradiating estimated billing.

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