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New laws on smart metering introduced before the UK parliament

New legislation proposed by the UK government would extend its existing powers to set rules on smart metering by five years.25 Oct 2017

Existing powers that the government have to intervene in the smart metering market expire on 1 November 2018.

This is part of our series analysing the challenges and opportunities ahead for companies embracing smart energy technologies. For more, sign up to receive an exclusive Pinsent Masons research paper on smart energy technology, supply, storage and investment.

The Smart Meters Bill, introduced before the UK parliament on Wednesday, would allow the government to "develop, amend and oversee regulations relating to smart metering" up until 1 November 2023, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said (5-page / 213KB PDF).

The Bill would also provide a framework to allow services provided by the Data and Communications Company (DCC) to continue even if the company suffers insolvency. The DCC is responsible for operating the data and communications hub that sits at the heart of the smart metering system. 

BEIS said the move was "in line with existing arrangements for comparable organisations in the energy sector such as energy networks, and other sectors including rail".

Energy minister Richard Harrington said: "The roll-out of smart meters continues at pace with almost 7.7 million already operating in Great Britain and nearly 350,000 being installed every month, bringing an end to estimated bills and helping people to save energy and money."

"Every home and small business will be offered a smart meter by the end of 2020. The Bill … will ensure consumers continue to get the most from their smart meters once installed, during and beyond the roll-out," he said.

Smart meters are one of the smarter energy technologies of the future, according to a special report by Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com.