Smart Meter Installations Jump 120% in July

Engineer installing a smart meter

The number of smart meters fitted in the UK in July leapt 120% compared to the previous month.

Despite a turbulent few months for suppliers, the amount of smart meter installations being carried out is on the rise again.

17 Million Smart Meters in UK Homes

The total number of smart meters installed in July jumped by 120% compared to June, with around 152,000 fitted that month, according to new figures from ElectraLink’s Data Transfer Service team. This adds up to a total of over 17 million smart meters installed since the programme began - though that’s still a long way from the government’s original 53 million target.

The new generation of energy meters come with a screen known as an in-home display (IHD), which shows gas and electricity usage in both kilowatt-hours (kWh) and pounds and pence. This enables customers to monitor their energy consumption and save by identifying where they could cut back.

The latest SMETS2 meters also automatically send meter readings to your supplier, making manual readings and estimated bills a thing of the past.

Illustration of an electricity smart meter

While last months figures are still 36% down from July 2019, it’s a sharp improvement when contrasted with June, which saw installations drop by 67% from last year.

Although suppliers were installing around 19,000 smart meters a day in early March, this figure fell as the significance of the coronavirus pandemic became clear.

By 23rd March, and with the country under strict lockdown restrictions, non-emergency smart meter installations were put on hold.

This interruption led to a 15% drop in installations for the first quarter of 2020, with the numbers expected to fall even further in the second quarter once official figures are released.

Further Rollout Extension

Though suppliers began tentatively restarting their installation programmes in June, the latest setback is just one of a number of challenges the smart meter rollout program has faced.

Half of all energy suppliers breached their licence conditions by failing to reach their smart meter fitting targets in 2019, meaning that the deadline for their installation in every home by 2020 was postponed by four years.

Following this latest delay, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has announced a further extension of six months, to push the deadline to the end of June 2025.

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