The rollout of the £11bn scheme to install smart meters across Britain by 2020, a key part of the government’s energy policy, has been far from under control. It has been beset by rising costs and delays, which are now fuelling industry concerns that the 2020 deadline cannot be met. More than 10m meters have been fitted so far – reflecting how the scheme is one of the biggest national installation programmes ever undertaken – but analysis by Which?, the consumer body, in February found that large energy companies would need to install 24 devices a minute, every day, for the next three years to meet the 2020 deadline. On Tuesday, the House of Lords will examine a government bill going through parliament that is meant to underpin the smart meter programme. Labour on Friday tabled an amendment that would require ministers to outline quarterly goals for energy suppliers on the roll out of devices. The National Audit Office, parliament’s spending watchdog, is meanwhile investigating whether the scheme will save households money, as well as the likelihood of the government hitting the 2020 deadline. Publicly, the energy industry is committed to meeting the 2020 target. Privately, some executives have admitted they are concerned.
FT 13th May 2018 read more »