The £11bn+ ‘Smart’ Meter White Elephant – more delays and another £90MN added to the bill

Widespread installation of electricity and gas “smart meters” was due to begin late next year but could now be delayed until October 2016
The Government’s £11bn plan to install “smart” energy meters in every home is being delayed by up to a year [Ed: another one!], after the company in charge of the communications system for the devices warned it would not be ready in time.

The meters, which will cost about £200 per household [Ed: the total programme cost is closer to £400 per household, not £200] to install, monitor electricity and gas usage in real-time and send data back to suppliers daily, eliminating estimated billing.

Energy suppliers are supposed to start the full national installation programme in late 2015, when a central communications system to handle data transfer between meters and suppliers was due to go live, and complete the roll-out by 2020.

But the Data Communications Company (DCC) in charge of the system has now admitted there is “no feasible way to maintain the timescales of the current… plan”, after Government officials changed the specifications, requiring parts of the system to be redesigned.

The company, run by outsourcing group Capita, is now proposing to delay the start date until as late as October 2016 and has said that the changes will add up to £90m in further costs.

A spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) confirmed that the start of the main installation programme would be delayed in line with the communications system.

The admission is the latest setback for the smart metering programme. The main installation was originally due to have begun this summer and be completed by 2019, but had already been delayed due to previous problems with the communications system.

An industry source said the latest delay “almost guarantees that the 2020 target becomes impossible to meet”.

Continue reading at £11bn energy smart meter roll-out suffers fresh delay – Telegraph.