Government should accept that 2020 is not a realistic timetable to complete the UK-wide rollout of smart meters and push it back to 2023, Citizens Advice has reiterated.
Latest government figures show the rollout will not be complete by the end of next year. Suppliers, many of whom are under financial pressure, would have to triple their current install rates.
Citizens Advice said smart meters are a crucial part of the infrastructure required to enable a decarbonised energy system. But rushing them will lead to higher energy bills and poorer consumer experiences, eroding trust.
Meanwhile, much of the underpinning systems, processes and regulation required to enable a smarter system are not yet in place. They are more likely to be in place by 2023.
The charity also urged government to update its cost benefit analysis of the rollout.
Government data shows that as of end March 2019, 17.14 million smart and advanced meters have been installed in homes and businesses across Great Britain.
The target is around 50m by 2020.
Questioned in January by the Beis Select Committee following a critical report by the National Audit Office (NAO), minister Claire Perry said it was “absolutely right” to look beyond 2020, with the department accepting that hitting the current 2020 target is “a challenge”.
See the data here.