Government announces further delays to smart meter IT system

The government has confirmed that the national smart meter roll-out programme is facing more delays, after a key IT project has failed to be completed on time.

The communications infrastructure which links smart meters to energy suppliers was due to be switched on on Wednesday 17 August, but will now not be ready until the end of September.

The plans are part of the government’s aim to offer a smart meter to every home and business by the end of 2020, which would require 53 million meters to be fitted over the next four years. The meters will measure gas and electricity use and automatically send meter readings to energy suppliers, ending manual meter readings.

The Data and Communications Company (DCC) was set up to create the infrastructure to handle the information output.

The system was originally targeted to be operational last year, but was pushed back a year to April 2016, and then again to August.

A spokesperson from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said: "The new infrastructure is planned to go live at the end of September, it is currently being tested to deliver a long-lasting, world class system to bill payers.

However, a representative from from a big six suppler argued: “It's yet another delay in what's been a drawn out and badly managed project that we are rapidly losing confidence in.”

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