14:43 29 August 2017
The government’s smart meter roll-out was not as successful as previously anticipated with take-up rates as low as one in five. According to the government, the meters are designed to eliminate the need for manual reading and fix industry-wide problem of billing errors.
The government £11bn initiative requires suppliers to offer every household a smart meter by the end of 2020. However, two of the biggest energy suppliers have revealed that well under half their customers have taken up the offer of a new meter. Because of this, news that the smart meter revolution is falling behind schedule has surfaced; a news that the government has denied.
A spokesman for the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said: “The roll-out is on track to deliver significant benefits and is set to save consumers £300m in 2020 alone,” he added.
“Suppliers are mandated by government to offer every household and small business a smart meter by 2020, and remain committed to this target.
“Nearly seven million smart meters have now been installed, with nearly 350,000 being fitted every month.”
Meanwhile, Mark Todd, a director of energyhelpline.com, a comparison service, said that the failure is due to the government’s ineffective strategy. “In Germany the roll-out appears to be much slower. The government there seems to be a lot more sensible in terms of cost,” he said.
“One thing the suppliers are correct about is that the Government is forcing them to spend their own money. If the Government was doing it themselves I think it would be a lot more sensibly thought out.”
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