Authoritarian British Gas boss calls for smart meters to be forced into every home to help meet net zero targets to save us from something that’s not happening. The man’s an idiot, of course

The boss of British Gas has said that every home could be forced to have smart meters installed in a bid to meet net zero targets.

Chris O’Shea’s comments come two months after government data found that almost four million smart meters across Britain are not working properly leading to customers being overcharged for energy bills.

Speaking at the House of Commons energy select committee, the chief executive of Centrica – which owns British Gas – called for a ‘street by street rather than customer to customer’ installation for the devices over a five year period.

He said: ‘We think that in order to have the proper smart grid that’s required to keep costs low in the future, everybody should have a smart meter. One of the things we should consider as to whether this is a voluntary programme, or whether it should be mandatory.’

Mr O’Shea went on to claim that more than a third of British Gas’ seven and a half million customers had ignored offers to install a smart meter.

The chief executive, who was paid £8 million last year, said: ‘I have customers that write to me saying, “Please stop bothering me. I don’t want a smart meter.”

‘We found that 44 per cent of our customers don’t have them, of whom 600,000, or about 8 per cent, have said they don’t want one.

‘So for 36 per cent of customers we are not sure whether they will take one or not.’

In words reported by The Times, Mr O’Shea argued that if the government ‘mandated’ a smart meter installation scheme, they could be installed by 2029.

According to the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, smart meters make up 61 per cent of all domestic meters in the country.

While customers are not legally obliged to accept a smart meter if they are offered one, suppliers do often insist on installing smart meters when older meters reach the end of their life.

Read More: British Gas boss says smart meters could be forced into every home to help meet net zero targets

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