The UK government’s energy policy requires suppliers to install smart meters in the homes of all domestic customers and small businesses by the end of 2020. But with less than four years to go, more than 48 million meters have yet to be installed.

To achieve the target, installation rates must increase fivefold from the current 200,000 a month to more than one million a month, but the industry has to address a drastic shortage of skilled installers, warns specialist training provider Develop Training Limited (DTL) in a new report.

Fundamental to meeting the deadline will be the availability of qualified meter installers, but the sector is already experiencing a chronic skills shortage. So fast, effective and accredited training programmes and initiatives are vital if suppliers are to boost installer numbers to meet their obligations and avoid penalties, says the DTL report.

DTL’s new whitepaper, ‘Smart Meters: training to meet the challenge of the UK rollout’, explores the issues relating to the UK smart meter rollout and the role training must play in helping to address them.

The report highlights that the shortage of suitably trained engineers is by far the biggest challenge facing an industry under pressure to meet the smart meter target. Research has shown that almost one in five domestic customers who arranged for a smart meter to be installed in their home experienced long delays because there were too few engineers available to carry out the work.

Steve Braund, Marketing Manager at DTL, explains: “Smart meters are an integral part of the UK’s plans to create a greener, safer and more reliable energy network, but the rollout programme is placing severe demands on the energy firms and their supply chain. Faced with the need to meet Government targets, industry must take urgent action to address the skills gaps of existing engineers and, more importantly, increase the number of qualified smart meter installers.

“Our smart meter report is the latest in a series of whitepapers DTL has published on a variety of topics, including electrical safety at work, confined spaces and legionella – all of which are freely available to download from our website.”

To download a free copy of the whitepaper, please click here.

DTL can provide specialist training at any one of its seven training bases nationwide, and can also deliver on-site solutions. Visit for more information.