Government consults on stretching smart meter rollout to 2024

Leccy, one half of the smart meters ad campaign.

Government is set to stretch the smart meter rollout deadline to 2024.

In a consultation, Beis suggested the programme is on track to deliver 30m meters by 2020, but said it was “reasonable to propose a regulatory monitoring framework for a period of 4 years (from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2024)”.

Around 50m meters will need to be made fully smart if the rollout is to be completed.

The department had outwardly resisted calls to adopt a more realistic timetable but signalled a softening stance in recent months, with former Beis minister Claire Perry telling MPs earlier this year it was “absolutely right” to look beyond 2020.

Citizens Advice has consistently called for an extension. It welcomed the move.

“Extending the smart meter rollout deadline is a common-sense move that is good news for consumers. It’s been clear for a long time that the 2020 deadline wouldn’t be met and today’s announcement finally recognises that reality,” said chief executive Gillian Guy.

“This new deadline gives suppliers time to fix ongoing technical problems and make sure customer service isn’t sidelined as the rollout continues. We’ve seen some energy companies use aggressive techniques to try to persuade people to have smart meters fitted as soon as possible to meet the existing timeline. 

“It’s also apparent that the cost of the rollout is escalating, and the public are picking up the tab through their energy bills. People will still benefit in the long run, but today’s cost-benefit analysis shows focusing on speed hasn’t worked.

“We are pleased the government is extending the deadline to ensure the benefits for consumers are delivered.”

Suppliers are only mandated to have offered a smart meter to all customers by 2020, rather than actually install one.

See the consultation here.

Related stories:

Ofgem roasted on smart meters as Beis mulls 2020 deadline

Drums beat louder for smart meters extension

Smart Meter Bill: Wiggle room for rollout deadline?

SSE urges smart meter rethink as costs spiral and benefits tank

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  1. You write: “Around 50 million meters will have to be made fully smart if the rollout is to be completed.” That is a strangely small number. Up until now, the official figure for the number of “smart” meters that would need to be installed to complete the programme has been 63 million.
    How come the ambition is able suddenly to be dropped by almost one-quarter at the stroke of a pen?

  2. Go back to all those initial press releases about smart meters. I think you will find that the figure , including for SMEs, was around 63 million.

  3. When are they going to drop this ridiculously expensive program of smartmeters that will bring few if any at all of the claimed benefits and will never pay for itself. Let alone the amount of waste being generated by replacing and scrapping perfectly good meters much much more early than would happen under normal replacement schedules.

  4. Does anyone know of a class action process that can be made related to everyone being forced to pay for smartmeters through their electricity and gas bills whether they want a smartmeter or not?


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