The GB smart meter rollout took an unexpected downwards turn in March, recording the lowest month of March installations total since 2020.

There were 185,000 smart meter installations last month – nine percent less than the month before and 13 percent less than March 2023. The same month in 2021 and 2022 had 224,000 and 219,000 installations respectively.

March 2020 marked the start of the first Covid-19 pandemic lockdown and only 168,000 installations were possible. That figure plummeted to 12,000 the following month.

The recent downturn in installations has coincided with a wider debate on smart meters losing smart capability. The BBC reported last month that almost four million smart meters across GB were not operating in smart mode as of December 2023.

There have been 609,000 installations so far this year and 22.88mn since the rollout began 12 years ago.

In terms of regional installations, the usual regions remained in the top three for another month. East England had 23,000 installations, Southern England had 19,000 and the East Midlands had 18,000 installations.

Maps of GB showing regional installations of smart meters for the month of March 2024 and cumulatively since 2012

These insights were provided by ElectraLink’s Data Transfer Service (DTS) Operations Team. For any questions on the information or data sources, please contact [email protected].

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These figures represent electricity smart meter installations in GB. Visit the DESNZ website for the latest dual fuel smart meter reports.

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

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.