The Smart Meter Central Delivery Body (SMCDB) has appointed Sacha Dashmukh as its new chief executive.

Deshmukh has an extensive background in consumer issues and marketing and will be reposnsible for consumer engagement during the nationwide roll-out of smart meters across the UK in 2015. He is a board trustee of Citizens Advice England & Wales and a non-executive director of Consumer Futures. Previously he was senior partner of the Engine Group.

Announcing his appointment, SMCDB chairman, Baroness McDonagh said: “We have found a real consumer champion in Sacha Deshmukh to lead the SMCDB. Consumer concern about energy bills and supplies continues to grow. If we support consumers in understanding and engaging with the full potential of smart meters we can help transform their control over energy consumption.

“Sacha has the business experience and skills to build a new organisation, but also a passion forged through frontline consumer advocacy that will be critical in driving the Central Delivery Body to deliver our aims.” 

Energy and climate change minister, Baroness Verma added: “I am delighted to hear that SachaDeshmukh has been appointed as chief executive of the Smart Meter Central Delivery Body. This role is crucial in helping consumers to fully realise the benefits that smart meters have to offer, including more accurate information on energy use and cost.

“With his wealth of experience in the world of marketing and communications, I am confident that Sacha will make a huge success of engaging the public in this exciting new technology.”

Commenting on his new position, Deshmukh concluded: “I am looking forward to establishing and leading the Smart Meter Central Delivery Body.  We have a unique opportunity, but also a clear responsibility, to create strong and widespread consumer confidence and support for the benefits of smart meters.  I want to build an organisation that will be innovative in the ways that it engages consumers, and ensure that the benefits of smart meters reach all consumers including those from vulnerable and low income communities.”   

The smart meter roll-out was originally scheduled to commence in 2014, however, it was recently delayed until 2015 following concerns that the industry was not fully prepared to implement the technology across the required 30 million UK homes.

The Energy and Climate Change Committee recently published a report which warned the government about the need to control the costs of the smart meter roll-out if the full benefits of the scheme are to be realised.