The UK’s smart meter rollout will top a meeting of the Energy and Climate Change Committee being held in Parliament today.
According to the meeting agenda, the purpose of the session is to evaluate progress in the smart meter roll-out since the Committee’s inquiry in May 2013, to look at emerging challenges during the foundation phase, and determine the remaining challenges ahead of the 2020 deadline.
MPs are calling representatives from major players in the UK’s energy sector as witnesses.
British Gas, Skanksa, E.ON and Ovo Energy and National Energy Action will be questioned on the status of the rollout, which was due to begin in 2015.
Customer response to smart meters
The MPs have also called Indian smart metering company Secure Meters Group to report back on a three-year trial with Ofgem.
The committee is reportedly interested in feedback on how customers reacted to getting more energy information from smart meters and in-home displays.
Delay to 2015 rollout
The meeting comes as the start date of the rollout will be postponed as the central data office confirmed ten days ago that it won’t be able to meet the deadline.
The Data Communications Company said there “no feasible way to maintain the timescales of the current… plan”.
A likely start date is October 2016 but the government is adamant that the deployment of 53 million smart meter units will be completed on time and on budget by 2020.
In a further indiction that stakeholders are losing confidence in the UK rollout, energy supplier First Utility called on Smart Energy GB this week to postpone its national advertising campaign in line with delays to the countrywide rollout.
Smart Energy GB is set to launch in 2015 a GBP25 million advertising programme that includes the cartoon characters Gaz and Leccy.
First Utility is reportedly worried that the campaign “will heighten demand before the technology is widely available”.