Smart meter roll out delay: Pragmatic solution, but consumer missing out says EY

10 May 2013

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Richard Postance, Power & Utilities, Advisory Services Leader said:

"Smart metering is one of the few green agenda items that is at the same time positive for the economy, the climate and above all the consumer, so a delay to full scale roll out cannot be good news. Pushing back the launch of the DCC by 12 months takes away much needed control and transparency over their energy consumption from an already hard pressed consumer base, as well as potential jobs for the UK.

"However, the imperative is to ensure that consumers' experience of this new and crucial initiative is second to none, in order to build their trust in the ability of smart meters to deliver. Delays to key elements of the programme made clear that the above would not have been possible, leading Government and industry to reach this pragmatic solution. Pushing back the DCC for a year will allow an industry with an already fragile relationship with its customers to avoid another pitfall by engaging and communicating properly and ensuring that all processes and systems are "ramp up ready." It will also give the Government time to provide more clarity on how Smart, ECO and Green Deal will play their part in a reformed retail market.

"But, this is by no means time for a break. Consumers will only have greater expectations of the level and quality of service that they receive at the end of these 12 months and the stakes will be high. Everyone involved in the smart meter challenge needs to act now, redouble their efforts and realise their good intentions."