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Smart meter network doubled in 12 months

6.7 million smart meters connected to the DCC network in 2020/21. Remaining first generation meters will have full smart functionality returned in next year. Faster energy switching service to begin in 2022
Smart Meter

The number of smart meters connected to the Data Communications Company’s (DCC) secure network doubled in the last regulatory year.  It is estimated that smart meters are now saving the country more than 300,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

The news comes as the DCC published its Annual Report and Accounts for the year ending 31 March 2021.

The landmark followed a strong recovery by the energy industry following the disruption caused by the first Covid-19 lockdown in 2020.  Daily installation rates improved to virtually pre-pandemic levels by the beginning of the second lockdown, reaching almost 20,000 per working day.

There has been significant progress in returning smart functionality to those households with dormant first-generation energy meters.  Almost 4 million meters were migrated to the DCC network during 2020/21.  This allows consumers to switch energy supplier and get the best deals while still retaining their smart function.

Network coverage expanded further over the year, and now reaches 99.3% of premises in Britain.

The DCC has also published its Business and Development Plan (2021/22-2025/26), which sets out how it will continue to improve core services for its customers over the next few years and deliver further benefits through the network in the future. 

Major priorities between now and the end of 2022 include completing the migration of first-generation (SMETS1) smart meters; delivering the new faster and more reliable Centralised Switching Service; and starting procurement of a new 4G communications hub to futureproof the network.

Richard McCarthy, DCC Chairman, said:

“This has been a strong performance by the DCC during the 2020/21 regulatory year.

“I am most proud of the progress we’ve made in facilitating the over-the-air migration of the country’s first generation of smart meters onto our network. This has been a significantly challenging and highly technical undertaking, with thousands of device and software combinations. It represents one of the largest ever IT migrations in a live environment.”

Angus Flett, CEO, said:

“At the DCC we continue to focus on our core priority, which is to support the energy industry as it completes its digitisation by rolling out smart meters across Britain.

“The DCC and its partners have performed well in a year disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic and it’s great to see momentum building again behind this national infrastructure programme.

“Our drive for the coming period will be to make further improvements for energy consumers by supporting the migration of the remaining first-generation smart meters onto our network, and to deliver a new, faster and more reliable switching service”.