April 26, 2012 at 4:24 pm
The great smart meter rollout has begun in earnest, but after getting a head start on its rivals, British Gas is now going to have to replace a large number of the meters it has already installed because they are not smart enough.
After the government released new guidelines stating that a higher specification is needed for the smart meters, the energy giant is going to have to replace an unknown proportion of the 400,000 new meters it has already installed.
British Gas began the rollout of the new smart meters back in 2010, before any of its rivals. Following the new guidelines, which state that the smart meters need to receive upgrades remotely, it is not known how many are to be replaced, or how much it will cost the company, but it is estimated that many thousands are likely to be replaced.
However, British Gas has stated that it knew that this was always a risk and that it is not actually bad news for the company. It has claimed that it only installed the new smart meters where the old meters needed to be replaced anyway, so even if the new meters have to be replaced the company has still managed to make large savings over the last two years as a result of the installations.
On top of that, the old meters do not need to replaced any time soon because the company has been given a deadline of December 2019 to update them.
There were always going to be a few teething problems with such a large project, but British Gas will surely be hoping that there will not be any more hiccups along the way as it aims to get the smart meters out to all of its customers as soon as possible.