Smart meter rollout: 7 million down, 43 million to go

7 million down, 43 million to go.

Energy suppliers have installed some 7.36 million smart meters, according to latest government figures.

With around 50m gas and electricity meters installed in households, the data suggests suppliers have achieved around 15% of the 2020 target.

Large energy suppliers have installed the vast majority of smart meters (7.07m). The department for business, energy and industrial strategy (Beis) said some 6.66m of those meters were operating in smart mode. Roughly five per cent are operating in ‘dumb’ mode, due to technical or communications issues, or because households had switched supplier, according to Beis.

Meanwhile, the data suggests that the Big Six is no longer an accurate description of the energy retail market, at least by government definition. Energy suppliers are now defined as ‘large’ if they have 250,000 customers. There are now 12 suppliers that meet that threshold and must report quarterly smart meter rollout figures.

Outside of the traditional ‘Big Six’, those companies are Co-operative Energy, Extra Energy, First Utility, Ovo Energy, Utilita and Utility Warehouse.

Suppliers with more than 250,000 customers must also pay some energy policy costs, which are added to bills.

See the smart meter data here.

Related stories:

Smart Meter Bill: Wiggle room for rollout deadline?

SSE urges smart meter rethink as costs spiral and benefits tank

SSE ramps up smart meter rollout

Put ‘troubled’ smart meters programme on hold, urges IoD

Smart meter rollout nears 6m – will 2020 deadline soften?

Ofgem mulls what to do if people don’t engage with smart meters

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