Smart meters are heading to every home in Britain

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By Chris Choi: ITV News Consumer Editor

Smart meters are heading to every home across Britain. Tonight the campaign to build public support for the mass roll-out is officially launched.

Smart technology for monitoring gas & electricity comes to all homes by 2020 at an estimated cost of £11 billion.

Along with a new digital meter, you will get a mobile display unit which can flash red when you are using a lot of energy.

Your consumption is sent using a secure wireless network to your supplier - so there's no need for a meter reader to visit.

Smart technology for monitoring gas & electricity comes to all homes by 2020 at an estimated cost of £11 billion. Credit: PA

There are some pretty searching questions.

First, who pays for all this?

Energy companies won't charge you when they install a smart meter - but long term they can recoup their costs through our bills. And for some customers already hard pressed that won't go down well.

Energy companies wont charge you when they install a smart meter- but long term they can recoup their costs through our bills. Credit: PA

Government and the industry say there will be long-term savings on our bills because the technology could allow new smarter tariffs. But not everyone is convinced.

Richard Lloyd, executive director at Which? said that with energy bills topping consumers' list of financial worries, the government "needs to keep a tight rein" on smart meters.

Over a million have already gone in - but around 600,000 of them are not regarded as smart enough to count as part of the national roll-out.

Although energy companies have been told to get smart meters into all homes - there is no legal obligation for you to have one. Credit: PA

And although energy companies have been told to get smart meters into all homes - there is no legal obligation for you to have one.

The smart journey has begun - but it's my bet that this will be a long road with many twists and turns.