In what seems a blow for consumers and organisations seeking greater transparency over the quantity and cost of the power they use, the decision from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) will see the technology appearing in UK homes in Autumn 2015, a year later than originally planned.
A smart meter records the consumption of electrical energy in a house or building and communicates the information at least daily to the utility for monitoring and billing purposes.
Ed Davey, secretary of state for Energy and Climate Change, said that the industry had seemed unanimous in its appeal for more time to perfect the technology, to ensure it got off to a good start.
He said: “Completing the national rollout will be an enormous logistical and technical challenge for the industry. To this end, and reflecting the extended period to build and test the systems required by industry, the government has decided to move the completion date for the mass roll-out from end 2019 to end 2020 – although I expect the vast majority of smart meters to be in place against the original 2019 deadline.”
• On 1 July the government published part 2 of its response to an earlier consultation on smart metering equipment. This is said to cover the outstanding questions and some issues where it had indicated a provisional position and was committed to further work. See www.gov.uk/government/consultations/smart-metering-equipment-technical-specifications-second-version.