Npower and Eon start SMETS2 smart meter pilots

Other suppliers say they will begin rolling out SMETS2 meters soon

Npower and Eon have kick-started the installation of second generation smart meters, with a view to undertaking wider rollouts next year.

Eon has installed around a million SMETS1 meters so far, and has completed some SMETS2 installs this month. However, the company is “still in testing phase”. “When we’ve ironed out the final details and complexities we’ll then start mass rollout,” a spokesperson said.

In a straw poll conducted by Utility Week to gauge supplier progress on smart meter installations, Npower said it will provide install figures for SMETS1 meters when it publishes its 2017 results next year. The company refused to comment on the number of SMETS1 or SMETS2 meters it had so far installed. However, the company confirmed it had begun to pilot SMETS2 devices in customers’ homes, and aims to start a wider rollout next year.

Of the remaining big six suppliers, Scottish Power said it has installed circa 635,000 first generation smart meters to date, and anticipates SMETS2 installation beginning in Summer 2018.

SSE has installed more than 600,000 smart meters so far, and expects to begin installing SMETS2 meters “in the coming months”.

EDF Energy has installed more than 400,000 smart meters and is “well underway” with testing the new SMETS2 meters. It will conduct pilot installations by the end of the year, with mass rollout expected in 2018.

British Gas became the first supplier to install a SMETS2 meter in August.

Independent suppliers are at varying stages in their smart meter rollouts.

Utilita head of marketing and communications Jem Maidment said: “Utilita has more than 900,000 SMETS1 meters in its portfolio, and more than 88 per cent of our 580,000 domestic customers have a smart meter – the highest percentage of any supplier in the country. We have no set date for rolling out SMETS2 meters.”

Ecotricity has installed more than 10,000 SMETS1 meters so far, and plans to start its rollout of SMETS2 meters in the second quarter of 2017. And First Utility refused to comment on the number of smart meters it has so far installed, but said it aims to begin installing SMETS2 meters in 2018.

Meanwhile, Robin Hood Energy has installed approximately 11,000 smart meters to date and will start rolling out SMETS2 meters in May 2018. And Ovo Energy said it has installed 660,000 individual meters in customers’ homes since 2013. It will begin to trial SMETS2 meters in homes over the coming weeks.

A spokesperson for Bristol Energy said: “In Bristol Energy’s first year of business, we fitted a small number of SMETS1 smart meters to existing customers, as part of an initial trial. We are now focusing on rolling out SMETS2 meters to all customers from April 2018 onwards.

“This will be done in stages, and existing Bristol Energy customers can register their interest here. We will start with the most vulnerable customers, those on pre-payment meters, and people who would most benefit from a smart meter.”

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