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Prolonged tests delay smart meter launch

18/08/16

Flagship energy project set for further delay as ‘go live’ pushed back to end of September

The UK programme to roll out smart electricity meters has suffered a further delay, with the launch of the IT systems being put back from yesterday until the end of September.

It is the latest in a series of delays for a system that was originally expected to become operational last year.

Smart_meter_croppedA spokesperson for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (DBEIS) told UKAuthority that Data Communications Corporation (DCC) – the body responsible for the data infrastructure – is in a period of testing and that more time is needed before going live.

The department is now forecasting that the service will become operational late next month.

Capita, the parent company of DCC, made no comment, but a recent newsletter on the project said the design and build of the systems were complete, that the services should go live in September, and a pre-payment capability should become available in December.

It had several services in operation, including the smart meter key infrastructure, a wide area network coverage database and incident management; but the user entry process testing and communications hubs deliver and returns were still progressing to live.

The long term plan is for every home in Britain to have a smart meter installed by 2020. About 3.6 million are now in place.

The DBEIS spokesperson said the project has cost about £17 billion, and that it is expected to save an average of £26 per year for households through giving them more control over their energy consumption.

Image from EVB Energy, CC BY-SA 3.0 through Wikimedia

 

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