First-generation smart meters have been proven to work on the central network operated by the Data Communications Company (DCC).
The SMETS1 devices have been plagued with interoperability issues throughout the smart meter rollout, with some devices being unable to cope with a switch of energy supplier.
At a demonstration officials from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) saw a simulation where a household SMETS1 meter was enrolled onto the secure data network under a new energy supplier and tariff – taking only a few minutes to achieve.
Customers with SMETS1 meters are expected to see their smart capabilities restored once they are connected to the DCC’s network, a process which will happen automatically.
The upgrade is expected to be completed by 2020.
Angus Flett, chief executive of the Data Communications Company, said:“This confirmation represents a significant milestone in our work to migrate millions of SMETS1 meters onto the DCC’s secure network.
“Coupled with the rising numbers of second generation meters being installed each day, real momentum is building behind this major transformation of Britain’s energy system.”
Suppliers have up until 5 December to install SMETS1 devices, with the latest figures showing more than 12 million smart and advanced meters have been installed.
Over seven million more SMETS1 devices have been installed than was planned, presenting the rollout with significant challenges.
According to a report by the National Audit Office the government’s original ambition of offering a smart meter to every home by 2020 will not be met, whilst the cost of the rollout will likely “escalate beyond initial expectations”.
According to the DCC, more than 160,000 second generation (SMETS2) smart meters have been rolled out so far, compared to just 1,000 in June.