More than three million SMETS2 smart meters have been installed in the UK

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The UK Government has lofty ambitions for the rollout of smart meters, and the rollout has finally hit a significant milestone. The Data Communication Company has confirmed that the three millionth second-generation smart meter (SMETS2) has been connected to its network. 

The installation of smart meters is an important part of the modern grid, as it gives the National Grid better information about energy usage, allowing it to accurately manage how much power is being generated, ensuring no energy is wasted. 

In recent months there has been a huge advertising blitz encouraging households to install smart meters, with Smart Energy GB running an ad during the busy Christmas season ‘thanking’ those who have gone ahead and installed the technology. The three millionth home to install a smart meter was located in Mickleover, Derby, with British Gas hooking them up to the network on November 29. 

With more meters on the Data Communication Company’s network comes more traffic, with the company reporting that it saw more than 86 million messages sent through the network in October 2019 alone. That equates to just over 28 messages a month for each meter installed.

DCC chief executive, Angus Flett, noted: “At three million second-generation meters our nationwide network continues to grow at pace, tripling in size in little more than six months. Credit is due to everyone involved in the smart meter rollout – this is a huge collective effort to digitise Britain’s energy network.

“We’ve also seen traffic volume increase, with over half-a-billion messages securely travelling over the network so far this year. That proves the robustness of our network and its expanding potential. Our network is a platform for good, and the data flowing across it is paving the way for better use of renewable energy. The DCC is making Britain more connected so we can all lead smarter, greener lives.”

The rollout of smart meters is still far behind on the government’s initial targets, despite the three millionth installation having now taken place. Initially, the government had wanted a full nationwide rollout of smart meters by 2020, a figure deemed impossible by the industry. It then pushed that date to 2024, which is a little more realistic, although still ambitious.