More people needed to install smart meters

The government risks missing its ambitious target to roll out smart meters in 30 million homes and businesses because of a lack of investment in training engineers, a leading trade skills course provider warns.

The government risks missing its ambitious target to roll out smart meters in 30 million homes and businesses. Photo credit – PA images

The government’s nationwide smart meter rollout aims to install around 53 million smart meters into around 30 million homes and businesses by the year 2020 but is unlikely to meet this target due to a lack of qualified smart meter engineers. ECTA Training estimates that up to 6,500 new smart meter engineers are still required to help meet the requirements.

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The nationwide smart meter rollout is part of the biggest infrastructure improvement project in decades. It will transform the current ageing gas and electric transmission network into a state-of-the-art ‘smart grid,’ ushering in a new generation of smart appliances and informed suppliers and consumers. This mean more energy-efficient consumption which will in turn translate into lower household bills, better energy deals and reduced carbon emissions

Smart meters are being installed across the country to enable customers to more accurately monitor their energy consumption, including which appliances use the most. This is expected to drive down consumption with associated financial and environmental benefits.

Dave Berry, director at ECTA Training, said: “The delivery of the smart meter rollout has called for the creation of a new breed of meter engineer, someone who can combine the practical ability of meter removal, installation and testing with the customer service skills that industry regulator Ofgem has placed at the centre of the project.

“While this provides opportunities for tradespeople to skill up in this area, we also need to encourage new entrants to consider this career path in order to meet the demand.”

Debbie Carter

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