British Gas has partnered with energy management specialist Landis+Gyr to install the first of a new generation of smart meters for electricity and gas.
The new smart meters are the first in the UK to comply with the Smart Metering Equipment Technical Specifications 2 (SMETS2) standard, which offers improved interoperability, security and support for renewable energy connections.
Following consumer testing, the new smart meters are expected to be rolled out across the country in 2018.
According to Landis+Gyr, SMETS2 meters will form the cornerstone of a more flexible, reliable and efficient national energy infrastructure.
“The highly detailed information they provide for the UK’s electricity network operators will help to reduce the annual cost of supporting the country’s power grid, and aid renewables integration,” the company explained. “Critically, it will also enable the expansion of electric vehicles across the UK — a key part of UK Government’s future transport strategy and a vital step in creating a clean-energy future.”
The Government recently launched a consultation on plans to relax its deadline for suppliers to switch to SMETS2 meters. Currently, new installations of SMETS1 meters after 13 July 2018 will not count toward energy suppliers’ rollout obligations.
The deadline was intended to support and incentivise an efficient transition to SMETS2 meters, but the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said this month: “For suppliers with significant SMETS1 rollouts already underway, we recognise that despite detailed planning, a smooth transition to installing exclusively SMETS2 meters at scale may take time.”
This would potentially slow down the national rollout of smart meters, or result in additional costs for suppliers.
The consultation will consider policy options designed to provide additional flexibility to install a limited number of SMETS1 meters for a short period of time after the SMETS1 end date.
Every home and small business in England, Wales and Scotland is expected to be offered a smart meter by the end of 2020.