The DECC has published its regular round-up of renewable energy progress in the UK, and it certainly makes for interesting reading, with one section devoted to the rollout of the government's smart meter scheme.
The Smart Meter Scheme
This scheme was designed to complement the move towards greater renewable energy adoption and the gradual transition to a low-carbon economy, allowing domestic users and business owners alike to monitor and manage their energy usage in an intelligent way.
The meters provide real-time information which flags up how much energy is being used and how much it costs, which makes for easier decision-making about usage. The meters also send information automatically to the utility firm, removing the need for meter visits and estimated bills - a real boon potentially to customers.
The Story so Far
These smart and advanced meters were part of a flagship government programme, but to date the results have been decidedly mixed.
In quarter one of this year, large energy firms installed 540,000 - a growth rate of 34pc against Q4 of 2015. However, this jump was mainly due to a new big supplier coming on board rather than a notable increase in installation activity from the previous panel members. Over the same quarter, just under 19,000 commercial and industrial versions of these meters were installed, representing an increase quarter on quarter of 26pc.
The Current Position
As of March, large power suppliers are now operating 2.75 million of these smart meters. Now the total for the UK's business and domestic properties is over 3.6 million advanced and smart meters, which means that the government will have some challenges to overcome in order to ensure that every home and British small business gains access to a smart meter by 2020.