Survey claims that 31 per cent of smart meters suffer from technical issues

First-generation and second-generation meters alike appear prone to issues, but energy savings still achieved by smart meter installations

Survey claims that 31 per cent of smart meters suffer from technical issues

Nearly a third of households have said that they have been experiencing issues with their smart meters, according to a survey conducted from July to August.

Opinium asked 2,011 respondents, ‘Have you experienced any technical, functional, or supplier related issues with your smart meter since it was installed?’, to which 31 per cent responded ‘yes’.

Additional questions included whether smart meters were rendered ‘dumb’ after switching suppliers, to which 32 per cent said ‘yes’. Furthermore, 20 per cent said that their suppliers were still offering them the first-generation smart meters (SMETS1).

The Data and Communications Company (DCC) are currently in the process of enabling cross-functionality of dormant first-generation smart meters onto their national network. The three-phase rollout is expected to wrap up by the end of 2020.

The second-generation SMETS2 smart meters, which are designed to remain ‘smart’ even when customers switch energy suppliers, have also experienced technical issues according to 33 per cent of respondents.

In spite of the reported issues, there was also some positive feedback regarding the effectiveness of smart meters.

The same survey indicated that a significant number of respondents expressed satisfaction with the installation of their smart meters, with 67 per cent saying that they have become more aware of their household’s energy usage.

29 per cent agreed that have been able to reduce their energy bills thanks to smart meters, and the presence of these devices has enforced energy saving habits. For example, 38 per cent now turn off the lights in a room they are not using, and 22 per cent now wash their clothes at a lower temperature.

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