Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy is writing an ode to meters as traditional gas and electricity meters are set to be replaced by smart models by 2020

Edith Hancock
Follow Edith
Carol Ann Duffy is regularly asked to immortalise moments in British history

Is this how Carol Ann Duffy imagined her life as a writer?

The poet laureate has announced she is writing her most unusual piece yet; an ode to the traditional meter, which will be published to mark the passing of traditional gas and electricity meters, the coming of smart meters and the end of estimated bills.

Duffy has written about major national events such as the "Last Post", which marked the deaths of the last two British soldiers to fight in Word War I, "Achilles (for David Beckham)" about the Achilles tendon injury that left England footballer David Beckham out of the 2010 World Cup and "Rings’" for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

According to Smart Energy, which is leading the campaign for traditional gas and electricity meters to be phased out by 2020, the introduction of smart meters to Britain's small businesses and homes is "the latest significant moment recorded by the poet laureate". Duffy, who has been working on the as yet untitled poem for the last few months, will publish it later this summer.

Speaking on the subject of gas meters, the poet laureate said: “Gas and electricity meters have been a fixture under stairs and in cupboards for more than a hundred years so it felt fitting to preserve their place in household history with a poem."

"It is definitely one of my most unusual projects, but hopefully I’m able to produce a piece that captures the last whirs of these spinning machines before they make way for their digital counterparts.”

Related articles