The smart meter rollout deadline of 2020 is “impossible to meet”, according to the director of Smart Energy GB’s corporate affairs.

Robert Cheesewright, a director of the national campaign for the smart meter rollout, cited concerns about technical issues with the devices.

Cheesewright added: “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.”

By 2020, the government hopes to have every home offered a smart meter – a target which the National Audit Office (NAO) warned in December will not be met.

The NAO also predicted the cost of the rollout will likely “escalate beyond initial expectations”.

The smart meter rollout has been plagued with a number of problems, including the interoperability of first generation (SMETS1) devices and the delay of SMETS2 devices being rolled out.

Initially the government intended the installation of SMETS1 devices to end on 13 July last year. This was later extended to 5 October.

The October deadline itself was extended by two months to 5 December.

Meanwhile SMETS1 prepayment meters will count towards suppliers’ duty to offer a smart meter to all households by 2020 until 15 March.

The latest figures show 12.8 million smart meters have been installed. British Gas confirmed in January that it had installed six million of the devices.

On Tuesday (19 February) the Data Communications Company (DCC) confirmed 400,000 SMETS2 devices had been installed on its network.