The introduction of energy smart meters in 30 million UK homes will be delayed for more than a year, the government has announced.
The £11.7bn project will start in the autumn of 2015, rather than the summer of next year, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said.
It said that the industry needed more time to design, build and test the communications system required. (emphasis added)
The devices show exactly how much gas and electricity is being used.
This should bring an end to estimated bills, because the technology could send back an accurate meter reading to an energy company every day.
According to the industry, the technological advance would be the equivalent of using wireless broadband instead of sending a telegram.
The project is considered vital in attempts to cut energy use by households as the UK faces having to import more energy in the future. (Smart Meters do NOT cut energy use – but they can cut energy supply and facilitate prohibitive pricing tariffs – Ed.)
However, the smart meter rollout has been criticised. Consumer group Which? has previously called on the government to postpone the scheme until it had reviewed its approach, saying there was a danger the situation could become a “fiasco”.
But the then energy minister, Charles Hendry, said at the time: “The last thing we need is more dither and delay.”
Now, the programme to install these meters into every UK home is expected to be finished by 2020, also a year later than planned.
Read more BBC News – Smart meter project is delayed.