The Data Communications Company (DCC) has revealed that 400,000 second generation (SMETS2) smart meter devices are now operational.

This is up from the 250,000 meter milestone reached at the beginning of the year.

In response to the news, a spokesperson for the DCC told Utility Week: “Our network is up and running and we’re ready to support our customers, the energy suppliers, as they scale-up the installation of second generation smart meters across the country.”

The smart meter rollout has been plagued with a number of issues, with a director of the national campaign for the smart meter rollout claiming the rollout deadline of 2020 is “impossible to meet”.

Robert Cheesewright, corporate director at Smart Energy GB, cited concerns about technical issues with the devices.

He said: “Without a smart grid with smart meters in every home we have no chance of securing a greener, cleaner and reliable energy system fit for the 21st century.

“Consumers are feeling let down by delays and technical issues which are making it hard for people to get the benefits that they deserve.

“You don’t have to be a mathematician to know that the 2020 deadline is impossible to meet, but everyone involved has to ensure that they work tirelessly to deliver smart meters to all homes as quickly as possible.”

Writing in a column for Utility Week published last week, Angus Flett, chief executive of Smart DCC, said: “The energy industry in Great Britain is undergoing a transformation, and smart metering is at its heart. Smart meters are a vital component in the realisation of a data-driven energy grid, which will provide Britain with an intelligent and sustainably managed power supply.

“Not only will consumers be empowered to monitor and manage their energy use, but at a macro level distribution network operators will be able to better match supply with demand, leading to greater stability and more efficient use of gas and electricity.”

In November last year the National Audit Office warned that the government’s original ambition of offering a smart meter to every home by 2020 will not be met, while the cost of the rollout will likely “escalate beyond initial expectations”.