Smart Meter Deadline Is Impossible to Reach, Report Warns

The government’s new 2024 smart meter deadline will be impossible to achieve, a report from Energy UK has warned.

The UK government had originally planned for every home and business in the country to be offered a smart meter installation by the end of 2020, but this target was changed this Autumn to 85% of households by 2024. However, a report from the trade body Energy UK has warned the government that they’re underestimating the amount of people who have no interest in having a smart meter.

“There are those who don’t know about smart meters, but there is another group who are perhaps not minded to have this sort of technology in their home, fearful as they might be around privacy or data management or simply the intrusion of having somebody come into their house,” said the Climate Change Minister, Lord Duncan of Springbank. “I don’t think it is a perception issue and I think people do begin to appreciate in the short term where they can make the savings.”

Smart meters work by recording a household’s energy usage and sending this data directly to the energy supplier, who then bills the customer accordingly. It allows consumers to track their energy usage and make money-saving changes accordingly. But according to Energy UK, the ‘best case scenario’ for the government would be the installation of smart meters in just 68% of British homes, way off their actual target.

“As outlined in our consultation response, based on independent research, we believe the current targets are not achievable without further changes,” said a spokesperson for Energy UK.

“It is our shared ambition to ensure that as many households as possible can benefit from smart meters. That’s why we have suggested a number of proactive policies the government should implement quickly to drive greater consumer uptake of smart meters.”

Smart Energy GB, a campaign promoting the use of smart meters, said: “We agree that the rollout is an essential upgrade to our outdated energy infrastructure and without it, reaching the government’s net zero target will be nigh on impossible.”

Fergus Cole
Written by Fergus Cole

Fergus is a journalist specialising in the personal finance, energy and broadband sectors. He also has a passion for travel and adventure so tries to make the most of this in any spare time he gets.

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