50,000 Smart Meter Installations a Day Needed to Meet Deadline

New data from energy and water experts Cornwall Insight shows that more than 50,000 smart metres will need to be installed every day in order for the government to meet targets of every home having one by 2020.

The latest report from Cornwall Insights show that for the target to be met, installation rates would need to increase by 300%. This is made more daunting by the fact that the amount of installations has dropped over the past three quarters.

Cornwall Insights analyst Oliver Archer explained: “The drop-off in installations will come as no surprise to many, especially given the ongoing issues with the transition to SMETS2 meters. Meeting the current deadline now looks incredibly challenging. Even an extended target of 2023 presents difficulties – install rates would still need to increase by close to 6,000 meters a day to reach this.”

There have also been concerns that many energy suppliers are not distributing the correct smart meters to customers. As of March this year, the first generation SMETS1 smart meters stopped counting toward government targets as suppliers were required to handout SMETS2 meters but there are reports of customers receiving the SMETS1 model even after requesting the newer version. Ofgem has written a letter to suppliers addressing this issue and stating that the 2020 target will now be missed partially due to older smart meters being installed.

Numerous reasons were cited as to why deadlines have been missed including engagement from customers, and difficulties working with third parties, as well as the transition from SMETS1 to SMETS2. Availability was also raised as a major reason why it was not possible to enable smart metering to call customers. All smart meters were not yet readily available to be manufactured problems with issues as well relating to the prepayment solution for SMETS2 meaning it was impossible to deploy them at the scale required.

The department for business energy and industrial strategy will now be considering it’s options post 2020 as it becomes apparent the target will now be missed.

A BEIS spokesperson said: ‘Suppliers should now be focusing their efforts on ramping up installations of second-generation smart meters.

‘Smart meters put people firmly in control of their energy use, helping them track how much they are spending on gas and electricity so they can save money.’

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