Government set to ramp up smart meter installations

Annual milestones and a six month extension for energy suppliers is set to be part of a four-year policy framework set out by the government to ensure that all reasonable measures to install smart meters in households and small businesses have been taken.

With the coronavirus resulting in a drop in the frequency of smart meter installations during the beginning of the year, this plan is expected to make up for this reduced contact with customers.

A consultation with the energy industry, following a new secondary legislation, will set strict annual targets which could result in fines if missed.

Minister for climate change, Lord Callanan, said; “Smart meters are playing an important role in helping the UK deliver a cleaner and more efficient energy system, with the added benefit of also saving tens of billions of pounds in the process.

“By allowing households to conveniently track their energy use, and prepayment customers to more easily top-up credit, we are working with industry to safely install even more across the country in a way that keeps consumers and suppliers safe.”

The department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) proposes lowering the threshold of funding Smarty Energy GB’s domestic campaign activities to large energy suppliers serving 150k consumers, previously the figure was 250k. The money is used to publicise and encourage domestic smart meter installations.

Installations of smart meters could save consumers up to £250 on their bills, whilst cutting CO2 emissions by 45 million tonnes – the equivalent of taking 26 million cars off the road for 12 months.

Without the flexibility enabled by smart meters, the Committee on Climate Change has said that the cost of reaching net zero could be up to £16 billion a year more expensive than current estimates predict.

Smart DCC’s CEO, Angus Flett, said; “We’re focused on supporting our customers, the energy companies, as they gradually resume smart meter installations following the suspension caused by COVID-19.

“Encouragingly, the volume of daily installs has started to climb again, so the work that we and out customers are doing to digitise Britain’s energy system and enable a future of clean energy continues to progress.”