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Chart of the Week

2018

Borrowed time: calls for smart meter roll-out extension

Tom Goswell Senior Analyst

Our latest Domestic Smart Metering Market Report, covering Q218, shows a record quarter for smart installations. The 1.56mn installations represent an increase of 29% on the previous quarter, and takes the total number of smart meters now deployed to 13.2mn, over 25% of all domestic meters. However, we have consistently shown the rate of installations has never been high enough to meet the 2020 deadline, as highlighted in the chart. This shows the actual quarterly installation rate, as well as the rates required to meet the 2020 and (theoretical) 2023 deadlines on a constant basis at any given point. Indeed, the actual installation rate has never been half of that required to meet the 2020 deadline. Extending the deadline by three years to 2023, as suggested by Citizens Advice this morning, would appear to make a substantial difference. The current daily installation rate would have to increase by just 9% and stay there for the remainder of the roll-out. This compares to an increase of 139% (i.e. immediately increasing installations from 17,500 a day to 41,500 a day) if the 2020 target was to be met on a straight-line basis from now. The calls from Citizens Advice chime with consistent statements from suppliers and installers regarding the compressed nature of the current 2020 deadline. There are several challenges still to overcome, including integration of SMETS1 meters into the Data Communications Company infrastructure, switching the supply chain focus to SMETS2 meters, and retaining and recruiting sufficient installers. As a result, a substantial increase in the pace of the roll-out in the short-term would ...

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