The government has launched a consultation on plans for smart energy meters to be fitted to all homes within the next decade.
Smart meters tell consumers about their energy use either through linked real-time display units or through the internet or digital TV.
They remove the need for meter-readings and provide householders with accurate bills with no estimates.
Real time visual display units also tell people how much it is costing when an individual appliances is turned on.
The government wants all gas and electricity customers to be given smart meters with visual displays within ten years.
It is now seeking views on this plan and has also proposed that energy bills should contain more information to help people save energy, including historical comparisons of their energy use.
Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks said: ‘Cutting carbon emissions is one of the greatest challenges we face.
‘Smart meters provide the chance for each one of us to play our part, providing better information and more accurate billing. It is vital that we make best use of this emerging technology that will not only help cut our energy use but reduce our bills too.’
The consultation follows the recent announcement of energy saving trials involving 40,000 households.
The trials include 15,000 households having smart meters installed and 8,000 more receiving clip-on visual displays that can be used with their existing meters.
The other households in the trial are testing new ways of receiving information to help them cut their energy use.