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Trade Skills 4U questions smart meter delay

In May 2013, the government announced rolling out of smart meters would be delayed until the summer of 2014 due to infrastructure issues.

Electrical training provider Trade Skills 4U is now asking why the digital infrastructure will not be ready in this timescale and as a result has been delayed until autumn 2015.

Smart meters are a networked device that allows a virtually live record of household energy consumption to be communicated to energy providers and the consumer.  

In turn, this mass data provision allows the country to identify overall energy consumption which will enhance the efficiency of utility providers and their adaption to client needs.

In 2010 the government announced an accelerated roll-out of smart meters which promised £18.7bn worth of savings over 20 years. The government target is that by 2020 all UK homes will have a smart meter.

In 2011, UK Power Networks carried out a smart meter trial in conjunction with Low Carbon London partner EDF Energy by installing over 6,000 smart meters in London properties.

The trial was performed on an opt-in basis across a demographically balanced group.

The resulting steps following the trial were to identify how smart metering would benefit the rest of the UK population as a whole, taking into account the differing profiles which were created during the London trial.

The final stage before roll-out was to identify the network suitability and plan any changes necessary. This is where major problems were found which caused the substantial delay.

However, according to Trade Skills 4U, this does not mean that smart metering will not be happening. Some areas of the UK are still going ahead with smart metering. 

Trade Skills 4U said two million smart meters will be installed in the UK within the next two years. This leaves 50 million households without the option of having a smart meter installed, although it is possible to register interest with energy providers.

The government fully expects the digital infrastructure to be ready for mass roll-out by 2015 with an expected full completion by 2020. The households that have smart meters installed ahead of the roll-out are being assured that their meters will be compatible with the DCC network.

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