Smart meter installations drop 27% in 2020

January 18, 2021

COVID-19 has had a significant effect on the energy market and smart meter installations in GB in 2020, which has been proved by ElectraLink’s data. 1.997 million smart meters installs occurred across the 12 months – 27 percent less than 2019 and the lowest number since 2016.

The biggest hit to the rollout last year came in the first national lockdown when all but the most essential, safety-focused installations were postponed. Since then, energy suppliers and their field teams have caught up somewhat thanks to new guidance to prevent the spread of coronavirus between engineers and tenants.

Smart meter installations rates have been gradually dropping since the peak of over three million installations in 2018.

The slowdown of non-urgent installations in December 2020 saw 172,000 smart meter installations across England, Scotland and Wales. This is 25 percent less than November 2020 and brings the overall cumulative total to 14.7 million installations since the programme began.

East England once again topped the charts with 23,000 installations last month, followed by Southern England with 22,000 and 17,000 in the East Midlands.

Map of GB regions showing smart meter installations in Dec 2020 and cumulative since 2012

These smart meter insights were provided by ElectraLink’s Data Transfer Service Operations Team. For any questions on the information or data sources, please contact our helpdesk at helpdesk@electralink.co.uk or call 020 7432 3012 for any questions about our energy market data services.

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The analysis is based on the D0150 data flows transmitted across our network and we believe capture the vast majority of smart meter installations.

The users of the DTS have given ElectraLink permission to intercept and analyse this, and other data flows, subject to certain conditions.

Our analysis defines smart meters as those models with the capability to handle time of use tariffs and which can be remotely updated.

For installations after September 2013, we count all meters flagged as SMETS1, SMETS2 or non-SMETS. For installations before the industry standard designation was agreed, the allocation is based on the make and model of meter.

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