Smart Meter roll-out deadline delayed by four years until 2024
Smart meter technology allows energy users to monitor and measure real-time energy consumption without the need for a physical meter reading, saving time and helping to improve efficiencies.
Recognising the important role they play in saving energy consumption, the government’s ‘smart grid’ plan was for all Gas and Electricity suppliers to take steps to roll out smart meters to all their 1, 2 (domestic), 3 and 4 (Small business) class customers by 2020; however, this target has now been extended to 2024.
With 35 million homes still without a smart meter, it was felt that levels of customer service would be compromised if the scheme was rushed through.
Also, as time is no longer in such short supply, energy companies will also be less inclined to adopt aggressive techniques to try and encourage people to have smart meters fitted.
By dropping the date back to 2024, this allows time for fixing any meters that are already in use but suffer from poor connectivity and any other issues.
The government are working hard to make sure the cost to customers isn’t too high. Already, the cost of the roll-out has gone from 11 billion in 2016 to 13.5 billion today and this has been passed on to the customer through higher energy bills.
The consumer group, Citizens Advice, welcomed the decision as they acknowledge it has been done in the best interests of the customer.