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Another Green Fiasco: Doubts Over Smart Energy Meter Benefits Hit UK Firm’s Stock


Shares in a U.K. company tapping the growing demand for smart energy meters dropped on Monday after a report from a group of lawmakers cast doubt on their financial benefit.

The devices, which display how much gas and electricity are being used and automatically send data to suppliers, are now expected to save homeowners an average of 11 pounds ($14.40) a year by 2020, the British Infrastructure Group (BIG) said in a report, down from the previous estimate of 26 pounds.

Glasgow, Scotland-based Smart Metering Systems Plc fell as much as 6.5 percent in London. The stock has rallied about 1,000 percent since the company’s 2011 initial public offering amid a government plan for 53 million meters to be installed in 30 million homes and small businesses by the end of 2020.

The continued roll-out of obsolete meters and delays introducing the latest technology were among the key reasons for the devices’ apparent inefficiencies, BIG said. Devices “going dumb” when users switch suppliers, as well as weak mobile phone signals in some areas were also blamed.

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