A total of 2.7 million “dumb” meters were operating as of 30 June this year, the latest statistics from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have revealed – making up 18 per cent of the total installed.
The rollout has been plagued with issues since its conception over a decade ago, including some first-generation (SMETS1) devices “going dumb” when a customer switches supplier.
BEIS refers to these dumb meters as “operating in traditional mode”, a process caused by factors including meters being unable to communicate with the wider network.
The latest figures reveal 14.9 million smart meters were in operation in the UK at the end of Q2 2019, representing a 4.2 per cent increase from the previous quarter.
Larger suppliers installed 1,009,100 smart meters in the second quarter – a 2.2 per cent decrease compared to Q1.
Meanwhile these suppliers installed 22,300 devices in small businesses in the period, representing a 20 per cent increase on the previous quarter.
In total larger suppliers had been responsible for the installation of 13,397,578 smart meters by the end of Q2 2019 while smaller suppliers had installed 352,848 by the end of Q4 2018 – the latest figures available.
On the non-domestic front, 754,035 devices had been installed by the bigger suppliers with 437,957 by smaller operators.
The rollout is still behind schedule, with the 2020 deadline of offering all homes a device fast approaching.
Research published today by Uswitch.com claimed around 4 million smart meter owners are facing issues with their devices.
The price comparison and switching service said a third (31 per cent) of households with the devices have reported problems since installation.
A total of 39 per cent said they had problems with smart displays not working while 32 per cent said their device “went dumb” after switching energy supplier. Some (13 per cent) even reported meters ceasing to function entirely.
Of those with second-generation (SMETS2) devices, 33 per cent said they encountered issues after installation.
Last week big six supplier Eon revealed it has fitted 2 million smart meters, putting the company in second place behind British Gas.
Currently 1.8 million second-generation (SMETS2) devices have been set up.
Utility Week contacted the other five large players for their latest stats on smart meter installations to date:
- EDF – 1 million
- Npower – 850,000 (by the end of 2018 financial year)
- SSE – 1.45 million SMETS1, 250,000 SMETS2
- British Gas – 7 million
Scottish Power is yet to respond to the request for comment.