Earlier this week, the Smart Data and Communications Company (DCC) announced the installation of the two millionth SMETS2 meter. The installation was reportedly carried out by British Gas in a house in Surrey. However, with less than 15 months until the smart meter rollout deadline, and around one-third of household installations completed so far, SMETS2 install rates remain well below what is needed to meet the target.
The latest calculations from our Smart Metering Market Report show that the industry would need to install over 50,000 meters a day to complete the rollout by 2020. As shown in Figure 1, SMETS2 installation rates were sitting around 9,000 a day in early September, and – according to their licences – suppliers should at this point only be installing these newer meters.
In reality, SMETS1 installations continued past the 15 March cut-off, and are likely still ongoing. Although the regulator has expressed understanding with the external factors driving continued SMETS1 installs, it is not clear how much flexibility Ofgem will allow, nor how lenient it may be when it comes to assessing compliance at the end of 2020.
At the peak of the SMETS1 rollout, suppliers were installing around 17,000 meters per day. SMETS2 installs would need to almost double to match this rate.
At the current trajectory, daily installations will be closer to 12,000 at the end of this year, at which point 12 months would remain to install meters in close to two-thirds of domestic properties.
While reaching the two million mark does represent a significant milestone for the industry, it will need to be followed up by increased efforts to iron out the difficulties still holding SMETS2 installations back, not least the network connection issues which are frustrating installs in the north of England and Scotland.
For more information about our Domestic Smart Metering Market Report, click here