The trials will include around 15,000 households receiving state of the art smart meters and 8,000 more receiving clip on real time display units for their existing meters. The other households in the trial will be testing new ways of receiving information to help them cut their energy use.

Regulator Ofgem chief executive, Alistair Buchanan, said: “These trials, which will be administered by Ofgem over the next two years, will provide us with firm evidence and hard facts about the benefits smart meters can bring.”