An update on the smart meter rollout, Feb 2019

Greg Jackson, Tech

3rd February 2019

The Smart Meter Programme is in transition, and I wanted to be upfront about what's happening.

In short: for February, March and maybe a bit longer, we are not able to install smart meters as effectively as we were doing until now.

So far, we've been installing meters to the government's "SMETS1" standard. These meters do all the stuff we expect of smart meters, but currently don't always stay smart when you switch energy supplier. Increasingly, this is less of a problem, as suppliers have created solutions that enable them to stay smart more and more often; and within around 18 months, we expect the government to have upgraded its switching company, DCC, to enable SMETS1 meters to work reliably after switching suppliers.

As of 15th March 2019 we are no longer allowed to install SMETS1 meters, and need to move to "SMETS2". These meters are designed to stay smart when you switch from the moment they are installed.

However, SMETS2 meters have been subject to a number of delays and are not yet fully available, and it's fair to say that whilst SMETS2 is an upgrade, it's still very new and so the tech is still not quite as smooth to install as SMETS1. We placed contracts for SMETS2 meters months ago, but have been advised that delivery dates are not being met for us or other suppliers. All of this is temporary - and we and the government and all the rest of the smart meter supply chain are working hard to rapidly get SMETS2 to the right position.

As a result, we have a temporary period when we are taking a much reduced number of bookings for smart meter installation until March 15th, and are uncertain about exactly when we will be back up to speed.

During this period we are taking the following approach:

  1. Temporarily suspending any more smart meter bookings for dates after March 15th because we cannot be sure what quantity of SMETS2 meters we will have available
  2. Prioritising SMET1 installs prior to then for people with additional needs (emergencies, inability to read a meter, mobility issues, etc.) and those who've chosen tariffs which can only supplied with a smart meter (Go, Agile)

As a company at the cutting edge of smart tariffs and technology, this temporary situation is as painful for us as it is for customers who want clarity. The smart meter transition is a colossal government programme and this transition period, which will be short, is a consequence. However, we are now, as a nation, very close to realising the massive opportunities opened up by smart meters... and that'll be a very good thing.

Hey! Just so you know, your device is fully charged and you're still charging it. Removing the charger will avoid degrading your battery 😊