Hated biz smart meter rollout: UK.gov sticks chin out, shuts eyes

We're ignoring you. What do you think of this, peons?

The government has opened a consultation on its proposals not to extend the deadline for businesses to opt out of the hated smart meter programme – despite hitting major delays with the programme itself.

The government plans to force two million "non-domestic" premises to install smart meters by 2020. These include a variety of organisations such as small shops, schools and large businesses.

However, those organisations can currently opt out of the scheme if they install lower-spec "advanced meters" by April 2016.

Advanced meters are defined as being able to provide half-hourly electricity or hourly gas data that can be remotely accessed by a supplier.

But the £10.9bn scheme itself has been hit with significant delays.

Earlier this month MPs warned that the programme was in danger of becoming a "costly failure".

The report by the Energy and Climate Change Committee said it does "not believe" plans to install 53 million devices in homes and businesses by 2020 will be achieved.

Capita, which runs the Data Communications Company (DCC) responsible for rolling out the programme, has also said "there is no feasible way to maintain the time-scales".

The DCC will not be live until 1 April 2016 at the earliest. The first installations were originally intended to go live this year.

The consultation - available on the gov.uk website - closes on 15 June. ®

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