SMS ready to profit from GB national smart meter rollout

Smart energy GB rollout delayedIn Scotland, meter management and installation company Smart Metering Systems (SMS) has filed record figures in 2014 as the company positions itself to benefit from the UK’s smart meter rollout.

SMS said revenue from its core gas meter rental division had grown 41% to GBP21.9 million during 2014 according to a trading update last week from the Glasgow-based company.

In April 2014, the company acquired an electricity division by buying Utility Partnership for GBP14 million.

Meter rentals in this sector doubled to GBP567,000 while data revenue rose 29% to GBP2.7 million.

In total, recurring revenue is expected to have risen from GBP15.8m to GBP26.2m.

SMS chief executive Alan Foy said the company had also secured a major new contract with British Gas Business during the year, increasing the number of gas meters under management by 29% to 607,000.

Smart Metering has now received accreditation to enter the UK’s water metering market.

Smart meter roll-out ready

Mr Foy said: “We remain focused on delivering our order book of meter exchanges and data business while fully positioning the business for the UK domestic smart meter roll out. The business is well positioned for continued growth in 2015.”

The news comes as a director from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said energy suppliers should “just get on” with installing advanced meters in UK homes and businesses as part of the national smart meter rollout, scheduled to begin this year but postponed to 2016.

Commenting on the UK government mandate for energy suppliers to replace more than 53 million gas and electricity meters, Daron Walker, director of Fuel Poverty & Smart Meters group at DECC, told the Smart Energy UK & Europe conference: “I’m very conscious we’ve now reached a point where we have a stable design. What we need now is consistency, minimum change and just getting on with delivery.”

Making smart meters clear

Another point raised last week in relation to the UK smart meter rollout was the need to offer vulnerable consumer groups more support to help them understand the rollout.

Claire Maugham, director of communications at Smart Energy GB, the agency tasked with engaging consumers with the rollout, said national partners such as post offices and consumer groups will work with people with disabilities, impairments and long term illnesses.

Ms Maugham said: “There are many consumers who are not actively engaged in traditional media channels and there are few people who don’t consume any traditional media but they might struggle to understand the complexity of the message or they need particular additional support.”