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Smart meter rollout will cost each household £215

A public spending watchdog said the smart meter rollout across Britain will cost every home £215 over the next 15 years but will only save consumers 3% annually on the average energy bill by 2030.

A generic view of a gas ring. Credit: PA Archive

Consumers would save an average of 2% on the average bill of £1,328 until 2020, rising to £43 a year or 3% by 2030, the Government estimated.

The Commons public accounts select committee said the department for energy estimated the cost of the rollout would be £10.6 billion and households would contribute this through their energy bills.

The savings made by consumers were conditional on customers becoming more "savvy" and cutting their energy use, the committee warned.

It also said some aspects of the programme could be out of date by the time the meters are rolled out, saying consumers could receive the information on their smart phones but still have to pay for the "redundant" in-home displays.

The mass roll-out will start late next year and suppliers are obliged to take all reasonable steps to have them in households by the end of 2020.

Cameron: If you leave the UK, you leave the currency

The Prime Minister has told voters in Scotland: "We should be clear that if you leave the UK, you leave the currency, you leave the pound."

The currency issue has been at the heart of the independence debate Credit: Lewis Stickley/PA Wire

He also said he thought the former prime minister Gordon Brown was "spot on" when he unveiled a timetable for devolution.

"Not often you see me and Gordon in absolute agreement," he added.

Standard Life planning 'transfer' in event of a Yes

Standard Life, which has its headquarters in Edinburgh, has announced contingency plans to relocate parts of its business to England in the event of a Yes vote.

A statement on the Standard Life website said:

In view of the uncertainty around Scotland's constitutional future, we have put in place precautionary measures which would help enable us to provide customers with continuity. This includes planning for new regulated companies in England to which we could transfer parts of our business if there was a need to do so.

This transfer of our business could potentially include pensions, investments and other long-term savings held by UK customers...

We will continue to serve our customers in Scotland and will consider what additional measures we may need to take on their behalf as a consequence of constitutional change once further clarity and certainty is received.

– statement by David Nish, chief executive, standard life

Energy UK urges 'come forward and make a claim'

The energy watchdog has urged customers who believe they may have money left in their former accounts to "come forward and make a claim."

Customers who think they haven't left a forwarding address or a final meter reading when they moved or switched should contact their old supplier.

The web site will help you do this.

Inevitably, there will be some former customers who will not be found and so the major suppliers are announcing what will happen to credit balances from now on.

In future, after two years, the credit balance will be used to help vulnerable customers - and suppliers will make it very clear what is happening.

– Energy UK's chief executive Angela Knight


Move to reclaim money left in energy accounts

The Big Six energy suppliers have launched a campaign to reunite former customers with money left in their accounts.

The MyEnergyCredit campaign will encourage customers who have switched suppliers or moved home without leaving a forwarding address to get in touch with their old company if they think they have left money behind.

The Big Six energy suppliers have launched a campaign to reunite former customers with money left in their accounts. Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Archive

Energy UK said £153 million in unclaimed credit had accumulated over the last six years, with the average balance at around £50.

The trade association said that from now on, after two years any unclaimed credit would be put towards funds to help the fuel poor and vulnerable, which would amount to at least £65 million over five years.

Currency union 'incompatible' with Scottish sovereignty

The Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has said a currency union between an independent Scotland and the remainder of the UK would be "incompatible" with Scottish sovereignty.

Mark Carney says currency union would be Credit: ITV News

Answering a question about Scottish independence at the TUC Congress, he talked about elements needed for a successful currency union.

He said there would have to be cross-border agreements on tax and spending as well as on banking rules. He also noted the opposition of Britain's three main political parties to a currency union with Scotland.

He concluded that within this context, a currency union would not be possible.

Gary Barlow apologises over tax row on Twitter

Take That singer Gary Barlow has taken to Twitter to apologise over claims that he was involved in a tax avoidance scheme.

The musician also revealed he had a "new team of accountants" and was now looking to settle matters as quickly as possible.

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