Because the government has extended the deadlines for installation, though the devices are criticized because they can be “stupid” when customers change energy suppliers, there will be more than 1 million additional first-generation smart meters installed at home.
Ministers set the goal by the end of 2020 to provide each home with a meter that automates readings and shows real-time energy usage in pounds and pennies.
So far, the first generation of 8.6 meter SMETS1 meters has been installed. This year is the first to launch a more advanced SMETS2 meter with no old interoperability issues.
But in a private letter to energy companies on Thursday, the government said the system designed to process the new meter was not ready, so it cut the deadline by three months in advance.
An energy official warned that the reputation of a smart meter could be compromised if the problem with the meter was not resolved.
Postponement of the delay from July to October will result in hundreds of thousands of people receiving old equipment, which will lose the ability to send a reading after consumers switch suppliers.
In the first nine months of 2017, the average monthly installed capacity of smart meters was 363,000, indicating that at least 108 million meters were installed due to the postponement of installation.
The actual figure may increase with the installation speed. Bulb, energy supplier, project up to 1.7 meters SMETS1 will be installed due to changes in the rules.
Interoperability issues with older meters are expected to be resolved by October, but can not be guaranteed. In December last year, the government announced that energy suppliers may be allowed to reinstall first generation meters for six months in some cases, meaning they can still enter the home until the spring of 2019.
Bulb co-founder Hayden Wood said: “The disappointment is that ministers are letting energy companies continue to install inferior first-generation smart meters in another three months.”