All bets off for 2020…
Today in Parliament, the UK Secretary for State for Energy and Climate Change – Ed Davey, announced that there would be a one year delay in the GB deployment of smart meters. That’s not a great surprise to anyone. Rather than copy what has been deployed in other countries, the UK industry has been developing specifications to make our smart metering system the most complex (and expensive) of any deployment anywhere in the world, and complexity takes time.
However, the timing is not great. Anyone following smart meter deployment will have noticed a distinct slowdown over the past few years. Some of the larger US utilities have already rolled out smart meters, helped by $83 billion of stimulus funding. A significant chunk of Australia has them as well. But as stimulus funds have dried up, so have the bulk of smart meter deployments.
The one remaining gung-ho project was the UK one, where previous ministers had been keen to pull it forward. A lot of the rest of the world, particularly other countries within Europe, who are working out how to address the EC directive on smart metering, have been waiting and watching to see how we’re doing. On the surface it’s looked good. Underneath there are conflicting interests which have been building up delays. Unfortunately the timing of today’s announcement plays to quite a lot of those underlying politics, which could further derail the future of the program. Continue →