UK to announce preferred bidders for $18bn smart meter project

The UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change is to announce their list of preferred bidders for installation of the country’s smart metering programme on Wednesday.

The programme entails installation of smart meters showing how much gas and electricity is being used into the country's 30 million homes between 2015 and 2020, and amongst the most lucrative contracts to be distributed among blue chip technology giants are for the roles of Data Services Provider (DSP) and Communications Services Provider (CSP).

Hewlett-Packard, O2, and IBM are just some of those companies in the running.

The DSP contract will require the preferred bidder to handle all the data generated by the project while the CSP contract involves installing and running the communications technology that will form the backbone of the grid.

The government hopes that, despite the huge investment costs, the smart grid scheme will bring a "net benefit" of $10.3bn.

The winners are not expected to be announced until September.

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