Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent estimate her Department has made of the potential number of smart meters fitted by energy companies since December 2019 which will require (a) upgrading and (b) replacing when the 2G and 3G networks are switched off; what estimate the Government has made of the potential cost of that upgrading and replacement which will be passed on to consumers; what discussions the Government had with energy companies on the potential effect of 2G and 3G switch off (i) before and (ii) during marketing campaigns for new replacement 5G smart meters; what plans the Government has to switch off 2G and 3G networks before all smart meters dependent on those networks have been upgraded or replaced; and what the Government's policy is on whether 5G smart meters will be mandatory for energy consumers. 
[Due for Answer on 10 January. Answered on 13 January.]
The Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth (Greg Hands): Smart meters will not need to be replaced or upgraded as a result of sunsetting 2G and 3G networks. Smart meters can work with a range of communications technologies and the system has been designed to accommodate the inevitable evolution of communication services over time. Communications hubs, which are installed alongside smart meters and connect them to the national smart metering network, can be replaced independently of the meter.