Energy companies would need to install 24 smart meters a minute for the next three years to meet a deadline of installing one in every home by 2020. Suppliers are falling far short of the rate needed for the £11 billion scheme to be completed on time, according to analysis by Which?.Which? said that official figures showed that just under nine million gas and electricity meters had been installed, out of about 50 million needed. The consumer group calculated that companies needed to be fitting 250,000 meters a week, equivalent to 24 every minute around the clock every day of the year. It said that this was “unlikely given the current pace of installation”. Claire Perry, the energy minister, told parliament this month that smart meters were being installed at a rate of 400,000 a month, about nine a minute. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said: “Energy suppliers’ plans show they intend to double installations in 2018 as large suppliers scale up their operations to provide quick and informative installations of smart meters.” In recent years some big energy suppliers, including SSE and EDF, have publicly called for a review of the deadline but ministers have refused to extend it. Energy suppliers risk multimillion-pound fines for failing to meet it. Energy UK, the industry body, said that companies remained “committed to ensuring all households and businesses are offered a smart meter by 2020 and that the roll-out is carried out safely, efficiently and delivers a positive experience for consumers”. Privately, many companies say that rushing to meet the deadline would end up costing homes more. One described the deadline as ludicrous.
Times 20th Feb 2018 read more »