PROVING THAT despite all evidence, UK gov is actually doing things that aren't Brexit related, the rollout of smart energy meters has been extended.
Originally due for completion by the end of 2020, it was obvious several years ago that there was no way the deadline could be met, but it's only now that the government has climbed down from that target.
The big problem has been the technology. When energy companies were given the date of 2020, they began the rollout using older technology known as SMETS1, as that's what was available.
Unfortunately, SMETS1 can't handle a change in provider, so if you find a cheaper deal, it comes at the cost of losing your smart meter. Newer SMETS2 meters are now rolling out, but customers with first-generation devices will be bottom of the list for an upgrade. After all - statistically, you're down as having a smart meter, so why rush?
By the end of 2018, there were 12.1 million smart meters in the UK, but with 39 million still to fit, it was an uphill struggle. Now, with a new target of the end of 2024, there'll be little excuse if there are still problems.
The Tory government, which included the 2020 date in its 2017 election manifesto, has denied it's a climbdown. Lord Duncan of Springbank, Minister for Climate Change told the BBC: "We remain on track for suppliers to offer every home a smart meter by the end of next year, but to maintain momentum beyond 2020 we are proposing strict yearly installation targets for suppliers from 2021. This will deliver even greater benefits for households and reduce emissions."
The new target is to have 85 per cent of homes fitted with smart meters by the end of 2024. Customers can refuse an upgrade, either until they can have a SMETS2 meter, or indefinitely, but all citizens have to be asked. µ
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