World Energy Council slams UK's "challenging" roll-out of smart meters

 
Jessica Morris
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Smart meters could reduce households' energy consumption (Source: Getty)

The UK’s roll-out of smart meters has been slammed as “challenging” by the World Energy Council.

Andrea Buser, a manager at the UN-accredited body, told City A.M: "In the UK there have been delays, concerns over [smart meters'] communication problems and consumer backlash about privacy questions".

The government is about to kickstart an ambitious programme to install another 53m smart meters in 30m homes and businesses by the end of 2020, at an expected cost of £10.9bn.

Read more: Q&A with the World Energy Council's secretary general Christoph Frei

The problems are detailed in the WEC's annual trilemma report which was published earlier this month.

"Smart meter roll-outs have been challenging ... in the UK, there are concerns the first wave of smart meters will not be able to communicate with a planned new national communications network designed to allow the transmission of data between smart meters and all energy suppliers," it said.

Read more: Britain loses its top energy rating amid supply concerns

"There are further questions about whether all locations will have the necessary wireless signal, and whether the price of the smart meters can be recouped by customers through modified energy use."

The report is based on research by the WEC, as well as submissions from energy leaders in its 94 member countries.

“Energy suppliers have made a good start, with more than 3m meters already operating in homes and businesses across Britain," the Department of Energy and Climate Change said in a statement.

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