UK smart meter rollout drops 15% due to COVID-19

Smart meter installations in the UK dropped by 15% in the first quarter of 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the latest report from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Just 980,000 smart meters were installed during the quarter, despite the first two months of the year recording higher numbers of installations than in the last quarter of 2019.

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Installations fell off following the implementation of lockdown regulations on 23 March, which is also accountable for breaking the BEIS’ run of more than a million smart meters installed per quarter for the previous 12 consecutive quarters.

The BEIS figures also show a 31% decline in the installation of smart and advanced meters in smaller non-domestic sites, with just 22,000 installed over the quarter.

The report notes that the 21.5 million smart meters have been installed in the UK to date, with 17.3 million still in “smart” mode. Several million older-technology SMETS1 million meters have gone “dumb” when consumer switched suppliers, amongst other technology challenges that have plagued the rollout thus far.

The UK-wide rollout is targetted for completion before the end of 2024.

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