The first lockdown in England, from 24 March to the start of June, caused a fall of 96.2% in average daily installations, according to the DCC’s figures. However the autumn lockdown now ending has seen the installation rate drop by just 2.5% on the previous month -- which was itself already a record for meters installed.
During the late March to June lockdown, average daily installations plunged to 658, down from a February average rate of 17,362 per day – a drop of 96.2%. The lowest figure for installs on a single day during the period was 323. The sharp decline in installations came as energy companies responded to the Covid-19 restrictions, moving in most instances to an emergencies-only footing.
By contrast, during November, despite the second lockdown a total of 360,107 SMETS2 meters were installed in homes and businesses across Britain, at an average rate of 17,148 every day. This represents a reduction of just 2.5% on the levels achieved in October, which was itself a record month, with an average of 17,579 each day.
The DCC says the huge disparity in the installation rates demonstrates how successfully energy companies, distribution network operators and installation engineers have adapted their working practices since mid-summer, to enable installations to continue safely in homes.Smart meter roll-out: A tale of two lockdowns
Angus Flett, Chief Executive of the DCC, said:
“These figures show the smart meter roll-out has progressed apace despite the second lockdown. The sustained rebound from the lows of the spring lockdown is testament to the innovation and safe working practices of our customers, and it demonstrates that all involved have earned the confidence of the public.
“The DCC’s secure network is a platform for good, and the data flowing across it is paving the way for better use of renewable energy. With our partners in the energy industry, we’re making Britain more connected so we can all lead smarter, greener lives.”
Smart Energy GB, the body charged with promoting the benefits of smart meters to households, said the DCC data reflected its own ongoing monitoring of consumer indicators in the nationwide roll-out effort, showing only a negligible impact compared to the spring lockdown.
Dan Brooke, Chief Executive of Smart Energy GB, commented:
“Every smart meter installed in Britain is a step closer to a more efficient energy system that will make better use of renewable wind and solar power. The climate crisis hasn’t gone away because of Covid, and it is heartening to see so many people do their bit to help create a greener Britain, despite the difficulties we’ve all faced this year.”
Second-generation (SMETS2) smart meters are fully interoperable from the outset, meaning that the consumer can switch energy supplier without losing smart functionality. There are more than 6m SMETS2 meters connected to the network.
The DCC is also migrating millions of first-generation (SMETS1) meters onto its network. Currently almost 2.3m have been connected, rendering them fully interoperable. The combined total of interoperable smart meters on the DCC platform is now 8.36m. These figures are regularly updated on the DCC website.
Across Britain, some areas are adopting the SMETS2 technology at above-average rates, with dozens now past the milestone of having one home in every four equipped with a second-generation meter.
The top twenty local authority areas in the Britain for SMETS2 take-up are as follows*:
* Data generated using ONS local authority household data, crossed-matched with DCC installation data.
For more information, please contact the DCC communications team: Nathan Fletcher Nathan.Fletcher@smartdcc.co.uk or 07483 826271