The government has confirmed another extension to the deadline for the installation of first generation energy smart meters (SMETS1).

In January the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) pushed the 13 July end date back to 5 October 2018. It will now increase this by a further two months to 5 December 2018.

BEIS announced the additional extension today (4 October) following a consultation into the proposal, which was launched in early July.

A separate end date for pre-payment meter installations of 15 March 2019 has also been announced. This deadline will be introduced through regulation in the Smart Energy Code, which sets out the rights and obligations of industry parties for smart metering.

Energy and clean growth minister Claire Perry, said: “We already have 12 million smart meters operating across Great Britain and every month hundreds of thousands more households are choosing to have one installed to take control of their energy use and save money on their bills.

“Today we’re announcing new measures to ensure suppliers are installing the next generation of smart meters and setting out how we’ll ensure all devices stay smart when consumers switch suppliers to get the best deals.”

Further to the extension, the government has set out requirements for suppliers to enroll first generation smart meters into the national smart metering network. It has also made clear that the devices which have temporarily lost some of their smart functionality will be given priority when they start to be enrolled in the national smart metering network.

A spokesperson for the Data Communications Company (DCC) which manages the smart metering data and communications infrastructure, said: “Our secure data network is fully operational and open for installations of SMETS2 meters and we continue to support energy suppliers on their rollout.”

In its letter to suppliers and stakeholders BEIS confirmed that 47,000 SMETS2 devices had been installed by the end of September.

An Energy UK spokesperson said: “The Government’s announcement today is a further step towards the smooth rollout of the next generation of smart meters and kickstarts the process for enabling meters which have already been installed to be fully integrated into the smart system.”

Robert Cheesewright, director of corporate affairs of Smart Energy GB, said: “The announcement that confirms first generation smart meters will be enrolled into the secure national infrastructure is good news for customers and an important step forward for the smart meter rollout.

“This will resolve functionality issues some customers have experienced when switching suppliers, and will make switching quicker and easier.

“All smart meters, whether first or second generation, give you accurate bills and show you how much energy you are using and what it is costing.”

BEIS estimates smart meters will take £300 million off consumer’s bills in 2020, rising to more than £1.2 billion per year by 2030 – an average annual saving of £47 per household.

British Gas is leading the way with smart meter installations according to the latest figures.

Britain’s biggest energy supplier, which is owned by Centrica, said it has installed 5.6 million domestic smart meters and a further 590,000 in businesses across the UK.

Eon has installed 1.2 million while SSE recently installed its one millionth device.

Scottish Power says it has also installed one million while EDF and Npower have installed 750,000 and 428,000 respectively.

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