New Energy minister announces delay in £11.7bn IT Government project…
UK smart meter project under threat from new
So we see another grand, Big-Bang IT project delayed by more than year.
The idea was for ‘smart meters’ to be installed in every house in the land at a cost of £11.7bn to show customers how much gas and electricity is being used. They are expected, then, to change behavior – putting on jumpers, bathing in luke-warm water etc.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has announced that this £11.7bn project will start in the autumn of 2015, rather than the summer of next year.
Note that this will be a ‘start’ – not completion of the work. It has now transpired that the project needs “more time to design, build and test the communications system required”. This will now take until 2020 at the earliest.
Charles Hendry, the previous Energy Minister said last January: “The last thing we need is more dither and delay.” But Hendry was replaced just a few weeks ago by Michael Fallon a “leading figure in the rightwing Cornerstone group” according to the BBC.
Hendry is worried that the £11.7bn cost may “spiral out of control”.
The usual excuses are being given that a delay will allow work to be “more efficient and cost-effective manner, and have a greater effect”.
But the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) have been very sceptical being “far from certain that consumers would benefit from smart meter savings and urged ministers to oversee the rollout more closely.”
We will see. All that is certain is that an opportunity for more piloting and real-world feedback before committing to spending £370 per household in the country is made…
Will we be hearing, in 12 months time, that the project will be delayed for another year? – see my commentary on the FBI VCF project).