Energy watchdog Energywatch has called for the UK government to take action to replace consumers' antiquated meters with smarter metering technology.

Energywatch said that it believes the government has a major opportunity, through the Energy Review and Article 13 of the Energy Services Directive, to push forward with the introduction of smarter metering technology.

Its call follows the release of a Datamonitor report, which points out that it has taken government intervention in Sweden and Italy to ensure the swift and effective installation of automated meter reading technology in those countries.

Correct and easy-to-understand information is the precursor to changing people’s understanding and use of energy, said Energywatch head of campaigns Jonathan Stearn. However, householders are disadvantaged by meters that are arcane and technologically ancient. Energywatch believes smarter metering is not only the key to helping consumers become more energy efficient but also to relieve the tremendous stress many consumers face with the sometimes wildly inaccurate and often estimated bills they receive from energy suppliers.