GB Smart Meters Delayed Again. Again.

by / Tuesday, 01 December 2015 / Published in Smartgrid-CI Blog

By NICK HUNN

It’s that time of year when the days get dark and cold, and the energy media turns its interest to the possibility of power cuts in the coming winter.  Which also means it’s the time for DECC to slip out their Annual Report on the Roll-out of Smart Meters, in the hope that no one will notice it.

As expected, everything’s slipped, but this time, for the first time, we get an example of how DECC fudges the benefits figures they claim justify the smart metering programme.  I sometimes wonder whether I’m the only person who reads these reports beyond the rose-tinted executive summary, as if you dig beneath the spin, they tell a clear and repeated story of a project that is going badly wrong.  So for anyone who didn’t make it past page 6, here’s the truth about what’s happening with the GB smart metering deployment.

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Let’s start with looking at how DECC fudge the numbers.  In my review of last year’s report I highlighted how DECC has refused to divulge how they calculated the consumer benefits of smart metering, spending large chunks of taxpayers’ money on expensive lawyers to argue against Freedom of Information requests.  If everything had gone to plan, we’d have around eleven and a half million meters installed by now, instead of which we’ve barely a tenth of that.  But even with around a million meters out there, you would have expected that there would be a fair amount of evidence about how much they affect customer behaviour and how much customers have saved.  After all, those saving are the bedrock of DECC’s financial justification of the whole program.

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