The countrywide roll out of energy smart meters will now be managed by the Government’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), as opposed to the original plan for industry regulator Ofgem to oversee the transition.

The plan is to offer energy smart meters to every household in the UK by 2017 in order to help households in the UK cut the amount of energy they use by as much as 20%.

Charles Hendry and Lord Mogg, chairman of Ofgem's governing body, the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority (GEMA) announced this news via an open letter from energy minister. The letter said that the decision had been made given the scale of the program and the “importance of Government accountability for its delivery”.

This announcement comes shortly after the UK Government was criticised by the Committee of Public Accounts for not being on track to meet its 2010 renewable energy targets. Margaret Hodge, and said that the DECC needed a “greater sense of urgency and purpose”.

These new meters send the reading immediately, allowing for real-time usage monitoring. This means there will be no more estimated bills, the consumer will know how much energy or money is being used at any given time, while more flexible tariffs and methods of paying the bill are available. The consumer will also have the ability to see if they are using less energy compared to yesterday, last week, or even last year.

British Gas has already installed 200,000 smart meters across the UK.