The original plan was for a country-wide roll-out to begin in late 2015, however, a report in The Telegraph suggests this may now be delayed till October 2016.
The potential delay would be due to the company in charge of the smart meter’s communication systems not being ready on time.
Smart meters are estimated to cost around £200 per household to install and are designed to give consumers more insight into their energy consumption, as well as enable more accurate billing.
Consumers are not obliged to have a smart meter installed and have the option to stick to their current meters if they prefer. Several energy suppliers have already begun installing smart meters at their customers’ homes.
Change in specifications behind delay
The Data Communications Company (DCC), which is in charge of implementing the centralised data system, has said it cannot meet the timelines set by the government. The company has blamed a change in specifications for the delay.
The original start date for energy suppliers to begin installing smart meters across the country was late 2015. By this time a central communications system was supposed to be in place to enable data to be sent via smart meters to suppliers. The entire process was set to be completed by 2020.
Roll-out still expected to be finished by 2020
A spokesperson for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) told The Telegraph that the programme would indeed be delayed, but did not specify a timescale.
He said: “We are all clear that taking the time to build the right solution is in everyone’s interest: industry and consumers alike.”
“The end date for completing rollout remains 2020.”