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How smart are Britain's energy meters?

How smart are Britain's energy meters?

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More than 24 million smart meters have been installed across Great Britain, according to the latest quarterly Smart Meter Statistics in Great Britain report from the government's Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

As of 31 March 2021, there were 24.2 million smart and advanced meters in homes and small businesses in Great Britain, of which 19.8 million were in smart mode or advanced meters.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, 760,900 smart meters were installed in homes in the last three months alone (to end March 2021).

The report revealed that 44% of all meters are smart or advanced meters, a 5% increase from this time last year. However, 8% of these meters were operating in traditional or "dumb" mode, meaning energy customers still need to provide manual meter readings to their energy supplier.

Many of these are first-generation SMETS1 meters, which are currently being remotely enrolled onto the DCC's national network in order to restore smart services.

Justina Miltienyte, policy expert at Uswitch, said: "It's not surprising that smart meter installations last year were low as suppliers had to stall the programme during the pandemic."

"But it will now be an uphill battle for suppliers to install smart meters for the 56% of customers who still have a traditional meter by 2025."

"What is more concerning is that there are still over four million smart metrs in UK homes operating in 'dumb mode'."

"It's a matter of priority that these meters are upgraded and added to the network so that they regain functionality."

"Smart meters will play an important role in the UK's transition to net zero, but they can also offer practical value to consumers, preventing the need for meter readings and providing far more accurate bills."

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