The Department of Energy and Climate Change has denied the total cost of Smart Meters has now outstripped the projected savings, making the hated scheme even more pointless.
The department had previously said the scheme would save £17bn. However, a report by the Major Projects Authority has pegged the total lifetime casts as £2bn higher.
A spokeswoman from DECC said the MPA used different accounting methodology from the department and insisted costs have not risen above £11bn.
She said the department's Impact Assessment expects smart meters to generate around £6.2bn by 2030, with total benefits of around £17.1bn and costs of around £10.9bn
However, many have questioned the accuracy of the cost-saving claims.
Dan Lewis, senior infrastructure advisor at the Institute of Directors – which published a highly critical report on the scheme earlier this year – said the consumer benefit remains "opaque".
“There’s no escaping that this leaderless programme is spiralling out of control, but no one wants to tell the Emperor that he has no clothes," Lewis said. "The costs which have unexpectedly just risen again are actually much more certain and tangible and will have to be met first."
He continued: "The only way out of this mess is for government to order a review and open up the downstream supply chain to much cheaper solutions which have been clearly overlooked. With technology, government can decide the what but never the how,” he said.
MPs have also warned the scheme is danger of becoming a "costly failure". ®