Consumer affairs editor

The smart meter roll-out has been further delayed until 2025 because of coronavirus, the Government announced today.

The previous target was to have installed 85 per cent of the roughly 50 million meters needed by the end of 2024 with energy firms to face fines from next year for missing installation targets.

That was already a four year delay from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s initial deadline of the end of this year, although it still intended to have installed 30 million of the devices by January.

三级成人视频Instead it said today that there are now 21.5 million installed, and that the deadlines would be pushed back by six months.

Smart meters are touted as a way to make the energy system more efficient and allow for remote meter readings and real-time tracking of usage via an in-home display.

However, the early version frequently lost its functions when a customer switched supplier leading to frustration.

三级成人视频Energy firms were forced to halt installations during the lockdown although engineers have now restarted home visits following safety guidance.

三级成人视频Lord Callanan, the minister for climate change, said: “Smart meters are playing an important role in helping the UK deliver a cleaner and more efficient energy system, with the added benefit of also saving tens of billions of pounds in the process.

三级成人视频“By allowing households to conveniently track their energy use, and prepayment customers to more easily top-up credit, we are working with industry to safely install even more across the country in a way that keeps consumers and suppliers safe.”

三级成人视频Of the 21 million meters installed, there are just over four million operating in “dumb” mode, according to the Government’s latest figures, meaning that they have lost their key functions of being able to show usage in pounds and pence and send readings to the supplier.

This has led to frustration among households as they have had to return to the days of manually submitting their usage data having been told this would be a thing of the past.

An upgrade programme is underway with the aim of enrolling the more than 14 million meters at risk of going dumb by the end of this year onto a national network, but so far only 450,000 have been been connected.

三级成人视频The Government said that meters which have lost their smart functions are being prioritised.

Smart meters are optional but ministers have warned that households who reject one could face higher energy bills in the future.

三级成人视频Proponents of smart meters say they are important for developing a green energy grid and meeting the Government’s net-zero carbon emission targets.

三级成人视频Dan Brooke, chief executive of Smart Energy GB, the organisation which promotes the roll-out, said: “A truly smart energy system will benefit us all, as it helps to integrate more clean, renewable power and reduce our reliance on carbon emitting fossil fuels. 

三级成人视频“Smart meters play a crucial role in creating this system, and consumers are already seeing the benefits through cheaper tariffs.”

三级成人视频The roll-out is estimated to cost suppliers £13.5bn, which could ultimately be passed to consumers via energy bills. The Government said smart meters could reduce the cost of reaching net-zero emissions by up to £16bn a year.