SSE installs millionth smart meter as government bats away rollout criticism


SSE has installed 1 million smart meters, which means it has rolled out some 275,000 since the start of the year.

The firm reported it had installed 725,000 as of 31 December 2017.

SSE said it continues to increase the rate of installation, but to hit the 2020 deadline it must install a further six million smart meters in two years if all customers decide to have one.

This year, SSE’s rollout has averaged around 40,000 smart meters a month. To install six million by the end of 2020, it will have to rollout roughly 200,000 a month, which means immediately increasing its install rate by 400%.

SSE has previously called for government to relax the rollout date, but the department for business, energy and industrial strategy is yet to publicly admit that target will be missed by some margin.

Npower was fined last week for missing a much smaller target to install advanced meters at business premises. Beis said “suppliers must learn lessons from this to ensure similar mistakes are not repeated in the smart meter roll out”.

The department has also batted away recent criticism of the rollout from a group of MPs. This week it published a ‘myth busting’ document.

It states that smart meters will unlock bill savings, cannot be used to turn off household appliances without consent, are secure and won’t stop people switching.

However, one of the myths ‘exploded’ is that suppliers are not making enough progress on the rollout. Beis states they are collectively rolling out over 400,000 per month – and repeated that Ofgem can fine energy companies for missing targets.

If the intention is to install some 50m smart meters by 2020, that will require suppliers to immediately increase their collective install rate from 400,000 a month to around 1.4 million meters a month.

See the myth buster here.

Related stories:

Smart meter rollout criticised again

Labour warns of smart meter disaster

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Eon calls for harder line on smart meters

Smart Meter Bill: Wiggle room for rollout deadline?

SSE urges smart meter rethink as costs spiral and benefits tank

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

Government moves to change smart meter rules for small firms

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

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

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

Government sets out smart grid stall – moots peak power pricing for everybody

MPs blast smart meter programme

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