Ministers and industry leaders have responded to accusations that the rollout of smart meters won’t deliver the benefits it has promised.

Lawrence Slade, Chief Executive of trade body Energy UK, and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have each issued defences of the project.

Writing in a blog on his organisation’s website, Slade said: “Inaccurate billing is by far the number one driver of complaints in the energy sector and smart meters get rid of that at a stroke – so again suppliers’ own research is showing that complaints are falling as a result of the accurate billing that smart meters deliver.

But he acknowledged that there had been “challenges” during the roll out and that there needed to be an “honest conversation” with the public over smart meters.

BEIS seeks to dispel myths

Meanwhile, BEIS has issued a statement designed to dispel “10 myths” surrounding smart meters.

The ‘myths’ tackled in the document include that smart meters prevent customers from switching suppliers and that they allow energy companies to charge higher prices without telling consumers.

The two responses follow criticism of the roll out from the British Infrastructure Group of Parliamentarians, which said the scheme would cost £1 billion more than expected and deliver smaller benefits than promised to customers.

Meanwhile, Citizens Advice has said the deadline for rolling out smart meters should be extended by three years.

It believes the current 2020 deadline is “unrealistic”.

> Read BEIS's statement