24 April 2024 Smart Meter Rollout

Latest figures show 34.8 million smart meter installations across Great Britain

The UK’s large energy suppliers have now installed 34.8 million smart and advanced meters in homes and businesses across Great Britain, according to the latest Government statistics (Q4 2023) on the progress of the smart meter rollout.

This means that, as of 31 December 2023, 61 per cent of all energy meters across homes and small businesses in GB were smart meters or advanced meters (a 6% increase from the end of 2022).

Of the 34.8 million, 30.8 are smart meters operating in smart mode or advanced meters, with 3.98 million smart meters operating in traditional mode (which typically means they have lost connectivity to the central smart meter network operated by Smart DCC).

Smart meters require the latest firmware updates to ensure they retain their smart functionality. Through regulation set out by the Smart Energy Code, this obligation to regularly test, manage and upgrade the firmware of smart meters sits with energy suppliers rather than contracted meter operators or meter asset providers.

Tom Woolley, Smart Product & Strategy Director at SMS, commented:

“With 3.98 million smart meters across Britain currently not operating in ‘smart mode’ – accounting for approximately 11% of the total 35 million rolled out nationwide – this is an area of concern for energy suppliers when it comes to the ongoing maintenance of smart meter portfolios, as much as it is clearly a worry for the minority of consumers impacted.

“What media has not reported on when highlighting this issue recently, however, is that in many cases these technical connectivity issues are easily avoidable and resolvable, without affected smart meters needing to be replaced and causing yet more disruption to consumers.

“Quite simply, all modern connected IoT devices today require regular firmware updates in order to keep working optimally — smart phones being a primary example of this. Smart meters are no different. However, proactive firmware management of smart meters is an area where the industry has fallen short until recently.

“Over the past 18 months, SMS has been engaging with various energy suppliers, to lead the development of a solution that effectively manages smart meter performance through a package of preventative and proactive measures, ultimately ensuring smart meter connectivity, compliant and performance is maintained remotely through firmware management.

“Our Smart Meter Health solution provides energy suppliers a unique view of smart meter performance across Great Britain, and gives evidence-based advice on how to optimise performance and meet compliance. That evidence of Interoperability and Interchangeability is key too when considering compliance.

“As we enter into the final third of the smart meter rollout, we at SMS will continue supporting the industry to focus on innovative ways of maintaining momentum. That includes the complex aspects of tackling the challenging end of the rollout, such as the delivery of Alt HAN solutions. Whilst we do that, together as an industry we must continue to prioritise the performance of deployed meter stock, ultimately cementing foundations for the final third of the programme to be successful.”

Delivering a smart future

We support energy suppliers across the entire spectrum of their smart meter rollout and Market-wide Half Hourly Settlement (MHHS) obligations. Discover our range of solutions: