Delaying smart meter rollout is a smart decision. We now need smart engagement

The delay in smart metering had been widely discussed in the industry already, so the announcement from DECC wasn’t surprising. It was also widely welcomed.

While a lot of work has been done to prepare, it is right to compare the rollout to creating the internet. Imagine the TV digital switchover but where rather than people being able to go out and change-over necessary equipment to manage the switchover themselves, an engineer has to go into every property and physically replace equipment.

The decision to delay the rollout of smart meters is the right one given the extent of the technical and logistical challenges the programme must overcome. Such a level of consumer engagement and also the physical act of replacing old meters with smart ones is complex and the timetable is always going to be an ambitious one.

While the network operators are not rolling out the meters themselves, they are critical to its success. Customers will want their meters changed when they’re at home, in the evening, out of normal working hours – this will require planning. An efficient rollout, which does not overall inconvenience homeowners, is vital to a positive customer experience.

There are massive benefits for UK Plc and customers from the delivery of smart meters and the development of a smart grid. Those can only be realised with customers who are bought into the process. All eyes on the government and suppliers to ensure they’re aware of what is happening.

Comments (1)

  1. Phil Beaumont:
    May 16, 2013 at 01:08 AM

    Slightly different angle to the story that I came across at titled 'False Start for UK smart meter rollout' May 14th 2013. What do they can fool some of the people some of the time....

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