Responding to BEIS’ announcement on the progress of the UK’s smart meter roll-out, Stephen Haw, Partner at Baringa, said: “While the increase in the number of smart and advanced meters installed in the last quarter is welcome news, the overall goal of 50 million by 2020 is still a challenging one."
"We know from our conversations with clients that providers are ramping up their operations in an attempt to hit the target. However, some firms are working from a standing start having taken a ‘wait and see’ approach until now. These organisations will need to learn the lessons of early adopters and work quickly if they are to meet their obligations and avoid fines in the future.
“With the recent successful go-live of the Data and Communications Company (DCC), the industry can now test activity in a live environment. While some commentators have called for further controlled and co-ordinated testing in lab settings, we are beyond that now. Instead, suppliers and the DCC will need to respond quickly to any issues reported by customers in order to ensure smart meters achieve their potential. Failure to do so could create scepticism of the benefits of this technology.
“More consideration is also needed to ensure that priority is given to installing smart meters in the homes of vulnerable customers. While this can be difficult for providers, given these customers are spread out around the country, making sure that those who stand to benefit the most receive their smart meters first is not only the right thing to do but will also bring greater efficiencies and savings for providers in the future.”