The government announced yesterday that it will require all households to have smart meters installed over the next decade.

The decision was announced by the energy minister Lord Hunt of Kings Heath as the House of Lords debated the Energy Bill yesterday afternoon. The move to introduce smart meters - which will tell householders exactly how much gas and electricity they are using - was seen by peers as integral to the success of a new renewable energy feed-in tariff. Announcing the mandatory smart meters roll-out, Lord Hunt said: "This is a major step forward; no other country in the world has moved to an electricity and gas smart meter roll-out on this scale.

"We anticipate a period of around two years to resolve the issues and to design the full detail of a domestic roll-out. Our aim is then to ensure that the subsequent roll-out happens over a period of 10 years. This would see delivery of smart meters by the end of 2020 to align with our renewables targets," the minister went on to say.