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Smart meter installs drop 27% in 2020 as COVID-19 bites

Image: Getty.

Image: Getty.

Installations of smart meters were significantly impacted in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic according to new data from ElectraLink.

Across the year, there was a 27% reduction in installations compared with the year prior with only 1.997 million installations recorded by ElectraLink. This is the lowest number since 2016, with the first national lockdown having the biggest impact due to installations being postponed.

In Q1 2020, domestic installations fell 15% compared with Q1 2019 as a result of the lockdown coming into play, with smart meter installations starting up again in June.

However, ElectraLink went on to say that energy suppliers and their field teams have somewhat caught up as a result of new guidance allowing installations with increased safety measures, including taking all reasonable measures to maintain a two metre distance between installers and customers, suppliers carrying out a COVID-19 risk assessment and wearing face coverings.

When looking at December 2020, installations were still down 25% on November 2020 as a result of a slowdown of non-urgent installations, with 172,000 new installations across England, Scotland and Wales.

November did, however, see the highest number of installations of 2020, up 7% on September.

December's installations brings the total number of installations since the programme began to 14.7 million.

East England saw the highest number of installations in December 2020, with 23,000 in the month. This was followed by Southern England at 22,000 and then the East Midlands with 17,000.

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