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Energy firms need to install 30 smart meters a minute to meet deadline

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Large energy suppliers will need to triple the number of smart meters they are installing to hit a target of replacing all existing meters by 2020, according to analysis from Which?.

The consumer group said large suppliers would need to install 30 smart meters per minute, every day, for the next two years, to fully replace the 46 million existing meters their customers have.

Large energy suppliers are currently installing just 9.7 meters per minute.

With just over two years to go until the 2020 deadline, Which? is concerned that delays and subsequent increased costs will result in fewer savings for consumers.

Alex Neill, managing director of home products and services at Which?, said:“The smart meter rollout has been plagued by problems and been massively delayed, the benefits have been overstated and the savings they could bring consumers are at risk.

“Therefore it’s time for the Government to replan with industry and consumer groups to ensure people get the maximum benefit at the minimum cost.”

Government estimates for the expected savings for an annual dual fuel bill in 2020 have already fallen from £26 to just £11.

So far, large suppliers have installed more than 11 million smart meters, however this is just a quarter (25%) of the 46 million existing meters that could potentially be replaced.

Robert Cheesewright, director of corporate affairs at Smart Energy GB, said: “Britain’s smart meter rollout is a vital upgrade for the nation’s energy infrastructure. Smart meters are crucial if we want to tackle climate change and reduce our carbon footprint. In line with the government’s figures, smart meters will help people save on average almost £50 a year on their energy bills by 2030. Energy suppliers are working hard to offer all households smart meters as soon as possible.” ​

For more, see: Smart meters under attack: what you need to know


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