An energy minister has finally admitted that a target to install an energy smart meter in every home by the end of next year cannot be met.
The project has descended into farce with spiralling costs, delays and tech problems.
Smart meters should provide real-time information on both electricity and gas use to customers and energy firms via transmissions over a system similar to the mobile phone network.
The project has descended into farce with spiralling costs, delays and tech problems
But six years after the start of the programme, just one in four homes – or 12.8million – have a smart meter.
Now the energy minister Claire Perry has admitted that – based on the best estimates – no more than 70-75 per cent of homes will be offered one by the end of next year. She accepted the installation was behind schedule, but described them as ‘absolutely vital’, adding: ‘The original plan, which was set out in 2009, was ambitious and we have seen slippage in deadlines.’
Her officials confirmed that meters are being installed at a rate of 4-5million a year, but this must double to get to 75 per cent of homes by the end of 2020.
MPs on the Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee are investigating.
The National Audit Office has warned that the total cost to the UK is expected to rise by £500million to £11.5billion with costs added to customers’ bills.