NAO slams UK smart meter rollout

The National Audit Office (NAO) has criticised the government’s rollout of the smart meter programme and said it will fail to meet its 2020 deadline.

“The government’s original ambition of installing smart meters in every home by 2020 will not be met, and the cost of the rollout will likely escalate beyond initial expectations,” the NAO concluded.

According to its investigation, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy underestimated how long it would take to implement the infrastructure and technical standards for the second generation of smart meters, resulting in a significant delay to their implementation.

It also suggested that it remains unclear whether all the industry cost savings forecast by the department will materialise as a result of the delays in progressing the programme.

Some of the smart meter rollout is being delivered via PPP-style arrangements across the country.