February 1, 2012
The Government had promised that every household would have a smart meter by 2019 in a £12 billion programme to stop gas and electricity bills being estimated.
Officials are devising plans to allow people to reject the smart meters, which communicate remotely from households to energy companies.
The move is a victory for campaign groups and backbench MPs, who raised concerns with ministers that the devices emit electromagnetic radiation 24 hours a day and cannot be turned off.
Privacy campaigners were worried that half-hourly data on energy usage collected by smart meters could give clues about people’s way of life, such as when someone is on holiday, at work or asleep. Sources in the Department for Energy and Climate Change said the proposal was shelved to avoid the programme getting “bogged down” in lengthy legal disputes.