Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Isle of Man plans unveiled to install 50,000 smart meters

Man checking electric meter Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption About 50,000 analogue meters will be replaced by smart devices.

Plans to upgrade electricity meters in all homes on the Isle of Man have been unveiled by energy supplier Manx Utilities.

About 50,000 analogue devices will be replaced with smart metres, at a cost of £18.2m.

The project will begin in 2020 and last four years, with the island's 8,000 key meters the first to be upgraded.

Dr Alex Allinson, chairman of Manx Utilities, said the cost would "not be passed onto the consumer".

He added the new system would not necessarily mean cheaper bills but it would give people the "ability to recognise what they're using".

The cost of the project will be spread over 10 years with funds coming from the company's annual budget as well as £10m from the Manx Treasury.

Smart meters have already been rolled out in several countries across Europe and older devices are now no longer in production.

Dr Allinson admitted smart meters had a "bad press" but Manx Utilities had learned from "mistakes" made when the UK began their own installation programme.

Only electricity services will be involved in the upgrade with one communication system to be used across the island.

Manx Utilities said the new meters will allow them to provide more accurate billing and better forecast the demand for supply.

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