So far 8.6m first generation, or SMETS1, meters have been installed. This year is meant to herald the first big push to roll out more advanced SMETS2 meters, which do not have the interoperability problems of the older ones.

But in a private letter to energy companies on Thursday, the government said systems designed to handle the newer meters were not ready, and so it was moving back a cutoff date for the older model by three months.

The reputation of smart metering could be harmed if problems with the meters were not ironed out, an energy official warned.

The extension moves the deadline from July to October and will lead to hundreds of thousands of people receiving the older devices, which can lose their ability to send readings after consumers switch supplier.

Smart meters were installed at an average rate of 363,000 per month for the first nine months of 2017, suggesting at least 1.08m extra will be installed as a result of the extension.

Source: The Guardian
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