Free 'real-time display units' for UK homes

British homeowners are to be offered free real-time display units enabling them to measure exactly how much money is being spending on electricity in their houses.

At present, the cost of the device is around £50, but from May, the government aims to roll out the device for free from electricity suppliers.

The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform claims the devices will fight climate change and save money at the same time.

The clip-on meters claim to enable customers to cut 10-20 per cent off their electricity bill by providing real-time information on usage.

But a critic of the latest government-led eco-initiative, Russell Hamblin-Boone, director of corporate affairs at the Energy Retail Association, said energy firms would rather introduce smart meters than the clip-on meters, stating that they "[delay] proper work on smart meters, which would be a genuine revolution."

Friends of the Earth Scotland agreed, saying the clip-on devices were a short term measure, whereas smart meters would allow both consumers and firms access to detailed information on energy usage.

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