The government is committed to the nationwide deployment of smart meters which would be the conerstone of an improved national energy infrastructure according to Baroness Verma, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department f Energy and Climate Change.

Baroness Verma was speaking at Landis+Gyr, the intelligent metering systems specialist’s Stockport facility.

The minister, whose brief includes responsibility for smart meters, visited the site to witness first-hand the growth in UK industry already being driven by the national smart metering roll-out.

Landis+Gyr is a partner in the largest smart metering programmes in the UK, including British Gas’ advanced deployment. To support these, the Stockport plant already produces around 20,000 advanced gas meters per week and employs 300 people. As the momentum behind the UK roll-out gathers, the business plans to significantly expand its North West operations, expecting to quadruple capacity and hire a further 200 by 2017.

The facility’s significance extends further, as Landis+Gyr is also developing much of the Intellectual Property there that will underpin smart metering deployments across the whole of Europe.

Commenting, Baroness Verma said: “Smart meters will be the cornerstone of a vastly improved national energy infrastructure, giving rise to and supporting a whole range of low-carbon technologies in and out of the home. This is why the Government has committed to the nationwide deployment of smart meters.

“Households will be able to take a much firmer grip on their energy usage and costs, energy companies will be able to smoothly integrate new forms of energy into the overall mix and emissions will come down.

“Crucially, the roll-out will also deliver green growth, as I have seen here today in Stockport with Landis+Gyr.”

Steve Cunningham, CEO of Landis+Gyr UK, Ireland and Scandinavia said: “The plant here is integral to Landis+Gyr’s operations – not just in the UK but for the whole of Europe. In addition to designing the technology that will be used in the smart meters, the plant manufactures those meters, supplying UK designed and built products to the whole of Europe.

“Smart metering provides a real opportunity for the UK to reinvigorate its design and manufacturing base and to use that drive to benefit consumers and the economy alike.”