The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is aiming for all homes and small businesses to have smart meters by 2020. Energy suppliers will be required to install smart meters and take all reasonable steps to install or replace over 50 million gas and electricity meters in nearly 30 million homes and small businesses.
Six energy suppliers currently provide electricity and gas to 98% of domestic customers. These suppliers will be looking to either treble their existing meter operator workforces, or utilise meter operators and contractors to work on their behalf. Ensuring consumer safety and maintaining the integrity of both electricity and gas metering/supply equipment will be essential during the mandated 2015-2020 rollout period.
To support industry, Energy & Utility Skills has formed the Smart Metering Network to identify, prioritise and seek to address skills issues within the smart metering sector. Activities focus on the upskilling of existing staff as well as innovative skills solutions designed to help ensure the competence of new entrants. The network incorporates both electricity and gas smart meter installation skills development requirements.
In addition, Energy & Utility Skills & the National Skills Academy for Power (the Skills Academy) has worked in collaboration with its member employers and major industry stakeholder partners to develop a national accreditation process for smart meter installers called the Smart Metering Referencing Scheme. All major energy suppliers are currently supporting the Skills Academy’s accreditation process via the Ofgem Smart Meter Installation Code of Practice (SMICoP).
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