Four key contracts in the Government's smart meter roll out have now been signed

Davey hails smart meter 'milestone'

Energy Secretary Ed Davey has hailed the signing key contracts in the government’s smart meter roll out as a "significant milestone".

The scheme to install 53 million electric and gas smart meters by 2020 is aimed at making energy consumption more transparent to households by showing real-time usage.

Four companies have now signed deals, worth more than £2bn over the coming years,  to establish and operate the Data and Communications Company (DCC) that will provide the communications infrastructure needed for the roll out.

In his statement to MPs, Davey said: "Smart meters offer a range of intelligent functions. They will provide consumers near real-time information on their energy use in pounds and pence, as well as accurate bills to help them better manage their energy use.

"The roll-out will support investment and growth, offering significant net benefits to the GB economy."

Capita PLC has been awarded a 12-year licence to manage the DCC on behalf of users in a deal worth £175m. The DCC Licensee will be regulated by Ofgem.

CGI IT UK Limited has agreed an eight-year contract with Capita PLC to be the data service provider for smart meters. The £75m contract covers the system which controls the movement of messages to and from smart meters.

In the north of England and Scotland, Arqiva Limited has agreed a 15-year contract worth £625m with Capita to be the communications service provider – covering wide area communications to and from smart meters.

In the rest of the UK, Telefonica UK Limited has agreed a £1.5bn deal to be communications service provider.

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