“This is the largest deal of its kind worldwide,” says Landis+Gyr CEO
Britain’s largest energy supplier has announced it will contract Landis+Gyr, a subsidiary of Toshiba, to deliver the majority of 16 million devices it needs for the UK smart meter roll-out.
The £600 million deal will have Landis+Gyr double its workforce in the UK to 1200 employees and extend manufacturing facilities. Meanwhile, British Gas will recruit another 500 Smart Energy Experts in 2014 to install the equipment.
The upcoming rollout of 53 million smart meters across the UK is set to become one of Europe’s biggest ever IT projects, but its proponents believe it will save much more money than is being spent on it.
A whole lotta smart
By 2020, 80 percent of the UK population must use smart meters in order to comply with the EU guidelines. If the target is not met, the country’s carbon quotas will be severely affected.
Smart meters reduce CO2 emissions by helping customers manage their own energy, and letting them easily choose the supplier that provides the best value for money. Connecting meters to the Internet will enable ‘Time of Use’ tariffs for cheaper electricity, and put an end to estimated bills. According to British Gas, by installing a smart meter, the average household can expect to save around five percent of its annual energy budget.
The rollout project has been in the so-called ‘foundation phase’ since March 2011, with British Gas, E.ON and nPower offering networked meters to certain households.
British Gas alone has reported over a million installations, and says satisfaction among smart meter customers is 40 percent higher than amongst those without smart meters. The mass rollout will start in autumn 2015, with thousands of deployments every day, all the way until 2020.
“We’ve been working with British Gas for the last three years to develop smart meters for its customers. This is the largest deal of its kind worldwide and sets a new industry standard for working in partnership. It allows us to achieve significant economies of scale in meter production, to expand our UK operations and to further establish the UK as a global centre of smart energy excellence. This is great news for the industry and for our employees,” commented Andreas Umbach, CEO of Landis+Gyr.
Both British Gas and its new partner will have to work alongside Capita, which will manage the roll-out after being awarded the Data and Communications Company (DCC) licence last month. The Data Service Provider (DSP) licence is likely to go to CGI IT UK. Arqiva is expected to be contracted as the Communications Service Provider (CSP) for the North of England and Scotland, and Telefonica as the CSP for the rest of the UK.
The Smart Energy Code Administrator and Secretariat contract is likely to be awarded to Gemserv.
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