Coronavirus delays smart meter rollout as installations suspended

Energy UK has announced the Coronavirus pandemic has prompted its members to halt ‘all non-essential field-based activities’

The Big Zero report

Energy UK has announced the Coronavirus pandemic has prompted its members to halt “all non-essential field-based activities”, including the installation of smart meters.

The industry representative says suppliers will continue to work to resolve emergency situations but notes the implementation of social distancing measures will make installations in homes and businesses very difficult or impossible.

Glasgow-based installer Smart Metering Systems (SMS) has also announced it is pausing installations and has closed its offices and warehouses as a result of the virus – it will still supply emergency support and keep its computer systems running.

Smart Energy GB said: “It is vital that people follow government regulations on what to do over the coming weeks. Unless you are a key worker, stay at home and practice good hand washing hygiene.

“Following the announcement of a national lockdown for non-essential workers, many energy suppliers will now cease or substantially reduce the number of smart meter installations they carry out, diverting staff to deal with emergencies and to assist vulnerable customers.

“This will have an impact on the smart meter rollout but these steps are the right response to help keep us all as safe and well as possible.”

An Energy UK spokesperson told ELN: “Currently, all energy suppliers are following government, NHS and Public Health England guidelines in relation to all home visits. Due to the fast-moving nature of the situation, energy suppliers will continue to monitor and review their procedures to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their customers and staff.

“Energy UK and its members are working closely with the relevant government departments and the energy regulator, Ofgem, and will continue to do so throughout this period. Clearly, as the current situation evolves, it may be the case that non-urgent home visits (including smart meter installations) might have to be postponed due to a number of reasons including health precautions. Due to the ever-evolving nature of the situation, and uncertainty around how long any restrictions may be in place, it is too early to assess the implications for the smart meter roll out.”

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