The UK's largest energy supplier, British Gas has commissioned Landis +Gyr to support the UK's first commercial-scale smart meter deployment in an energy efficiency effort that could save consumers more than 200 million pounds in energy bills.

The deal will see British Gas deploy up to one million of Landis+Gyr's "dual fuel" electricity and gas smart meters, along with Landis+Gyr's touch-screen in-home display, in UK customer homes, marking one of the fastest, largest and most advanced smart meter deployments in Europe.

British Gas and Landis+Gyr plan an open development, based wherever possible on existing standards, to help to accelerate the UK's national smart metering roll-out and encourage the faster development of a range of smart household appliances, from intelligent dishwashers to self-regulating heating controls. As part of the development, Landis+Gyr will share details of its smart metering system with third parties, allowing UK businesses a fast track to the creation of new and innovative solutions aimed at consumers, suppliers and utilities alike. This move is intended to provide other utilities with an open, practical blueprint for commercial-scale smart metering, crystallizing guidance provided by both the UK Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) and UK regulator Ofgem (the Office of the Gas and Electricity Markets).

"This is also great news for up to a million British Gas customers who could save as much as 200 million pounds on their energy bills by the time the main UK rollout is completed in 2020."

British Gas is the first of the country's "Big Six" utilities to undertake a major deployment following the publication last December of the DECC's final plans for a national roll-out by 2020.

"We view this smart metering roll-out as one of our largest and most important projects ever," said Petter Allison, director for Smart Metering for British Gas. "Smart meters have a fundamental role to play as they help customers become far more aware of the amount and cost of energy they use which encourages people to reduce their usage and save money."