SMART Meter rollout: Where is the UK at now?
With the country effectively closing down from the end of March 2020 due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the roll out of smart meters was stopped in its tracks as all non-essential metering works were brought to a halt.
As the country started to reopen in the Summer months, non-essential metering works slowly started to pick up again, but at a very low level. This was due to metering agencies operating on minimal staff levels as a result of the virus and furlough, as well as enhanced safety procedures to ensure the safety of their staff and the customers who they were visiting.
In June 2020, in light of the current global Coronavirus pandemic, the Government confirmed there would be a 6 month extension on the existing ‘all reasonable steps’ obligation, from 31th December 2020 until 30th Jun 2021.
The obligation sees suppliers needing to take all reasonable steps to roll out smart meters to their domestic and small non-domestic customers by this date.
BEIS (Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) also confirmed that the 4 year framework they put in place will be implemented after the extension date, meaning the rollout will be until 1st July 2025.
The new framework will see suppliers set minimum annual installation targets, which will be subject to an annual tolerance level, rather than having a single global installation target.
However, although the Smart Meter rollout was impacted significantly in 2020, there is still good news, as Smart Meter installations hit a new milestone at the start of February, with the 10th Millionth being installed.
As well as this being great news for suppliers, businesses and customers; it is also great news for the UK’s efforts to reach its Net Zero target, with the DCC explaining that collectively these smart meters are preventing the release of up to 275,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions a year.
What are the benefits of having a smart meter?
SMART meters mean accurate bills. In having a SMART meter installed, it allows you to be confident that you are only paying for the gas you have actually used, rather than what we think you might have used. No more estimated reads, no more estimated bills.
When will my smart meter be installed?
At CNG, we are working really hard to develop our systems to allow for the commencement of the SMART rollout. Although we have no dates set in stone just yet, as soon as we do we will be in touch to let you know to expect contact from third party partner SMS plc, who are conducting the installation and will liaise with you directly.
Is it safe to be installing a Smart meter at this time?
Before getting a SMART meter installed, you should ensure that your supplier has all the relevant processes in place to protect both you and themselves.
At CNG we have ensured that all of our third parties our conducting themselves in a safe manner.
SMS are subscribed to the COVID-19 pledge and are 100% committed to the safety of their employees and our customers alike, so you can be rest assured they will take the necessary and relevant measures, adhering to all site and operational requirements.
If you wish to speak to us about your SMART meter installation, or have any further questions, please call us on 01423 502554.