New research shows one in three consumers back changes to the Government’s policy on installing 26 million smart meters in UK homes by 2020.

The Conservatives will continue to encourage homeowners to have the devices installed but it will now be a choice rather than mandatory. The announcement waters down former Prime Minister David Cameron’s commitment to install smart meters in all UK homes.

Savings, created by the installation of smart meters, are still expected to be in the region of £300million per year; increasing to £1.2bn by 2030.

The change in policy follows a lack of support from consumers despite a high-profile advertising campaign. Concerns have been expressed about billing accuracy, data protection and privacy, and the lack of choice over installation – with some people feeling the meters were being forced upon them.