Smart meter re-installs rise so switching customers can retain smart functions

A small but growing number of smart meter installs are being done to replace recently-installed smart meters, rather than substituting for dumb ‘legacy’ meters, it has emerged.

The issue is so-called ‘Smets 1′ meters, which cannot always continue to operate in ‘smart’ mode when customers switch supplier. In such cases, the new supplier has to decide whether to operate the meter in ‘dumb’ mode or replace it with a new smart meter.

According to figures supplied to New Power by industry body Electralink, which transfers information about customer meter changes, the number of so-called Smets 1 meters being replaced has increased at a higher rate than the number of installs. In January, its figures show that 3.5% of all Smets 1 installations were replacing a pre-existing Smets 1 installation – up from 3% of all Smets 1 installs in December.

“If this trend continues, it will add a significant amount of rework to the rollout,” Electralink said. 

When the next generation of smart meters – so-called ‘Smets 2′ – is rolled out, they should be fully interoperable and able to support switching to any company. However, Electralink figures show that the use of Smets 2 meters has hardly begun, with its system showing fewer than 100 installed so far.

Subscribers can follow the smart meter rollout each month in New Power Report.

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