Smart Meter Rollout Delayed
The NRFC is fully backing the decision of the UK government, made late last week, to delay the £11bn rollout of new household gas and electricity meters by at least a year. Smart meters were initially to be rolled out nationally next year, but this will now not take place until autumn 2015 with the completion of the national plan put off from 2019 to 2020.
This decision is fully in line with the recommendations of the NRFC’s own 2011 report, “Will smart meters help the fuel poor?” which called on the Government to take its time to ensure the installation of smart meters in every home is a success.
Commenting on the decision, the Chair of the NRFC Hugh Goulbourne said:
“At the NRFC we are relieved that the Government has accepted that the proposed smart meter rollout needs to be redesigned to ensure that consumers will see the full benefit from smart meter savings from day one. We hope that the extra time provided by the Government to energy companies to complete the rollout will end with an approach which enables consumers to benefit immediately from lower tariffs, similar to Northern Ireland, where smart meter innovation means that consumers who were previously paying well over the odds for pre-payment tariffs are now paying the same as any other customer.”