Ofgem considers earlier roll out of smart meters


Charles Hendry,
Minister of State
for Energy
October 1, 2010 – U.K.’s Energy minister Charles Hendry is pressing Ofgem and energy firms to accelerate the smart meter roll out by 2 years, to 2018.  This move is intended to bring the adoption of smart meters into the government’s climate change strategy.

In early September Ofgem wrote to energy suppliers, meter service providers and meter suppliers    requesting information on whether an accelerated rollout is technically and economically feasible.

In particular, it asks for information on the "magnitude, timing and probability of any increased costs and risks" associated with an earlier target date and a view on "the likelihood of any supply chain or other constraints arising".

Any shift in the target date is likely to place huge pressure on energy firms to begin the rollout of smart meters as soon as possible.

A spokesman for DECC confirmed the department is now talking to energy firms about the viability of a more demanding smart meter rollout programme. "We are looking to the industry to examine all the opportunities for realising more ambitious but achievable targets for the rate at which suppliers must install smart meters," he said.

Meter suppliers are working together to develop an open standard for new smart meters that should also help accelerate the rollout.