By 2020 every domestic energy customer “will have had the offer of a smart meter”, secretary of state Greg Clark told EnergyUK’s annual meeting this week. That promise appears to water down a requirement for the smart meter rollout to be completed by 2020 – a deadline that had remained in place despite delays in specifying meters and setting up the DCC central communications hub.
The shift in emphasis could dramatically change rollout schedules, as it appears to allow companies both to complete installation after 2020 for customers who accept the smart meter offer, and to delay much longer for those who are opposed to having one, or those who are indifferent – potentially a significant proportion. It came as the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) published a revised cost-benefit analysis for the rollout.
The analysis said gross costs of the rollout had increased by around £54 million since the previous impact assessment was made in 2014, while gross benefits have reduced by around £415 million. “In net terms this results in an Net Present Value that is £469 million below the estimate in the 2014 IA”, it said. The updated NPV across the domestic and SME sectors is now claimed as £5.75 billion, with underlying gross present value costs of £10.98 billion and gross present value benefits of £16.72 billion.
The analysis said that “in the absence of government intervention, feedback from market participants suggests that only a relatively small population of meters, unlikely to be more than 50%, would be replaced with smart or advanced meters over time.”
Meanwhile managing director Jonathan Simcock will leave the DCC in February 2017. He be succeeded by Angus Flett, who will join DCC on 30 January 2017. The DCC has gone live in two of three regions, south and west.
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