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Don't panic. Stupid smart meters are still 50 years away stats suggest £11bn scheme still a loooong way off

The government's hated £11bn smart meters project will not be complete for another 50 years, stats from the Department of Energy and Climate Change indicate.

According to government figures for the first quarter of 2015, around 211,700 smart meters were installed, bringing the total up to 1,054,800.

Earlier this year a report by the Energy and Climate Change Committee said it does "not believe" plans to install 53 million devices in homes and businesses by 2020 will be achieved.

The next phase of the rollout will begin next year, but the committee reported a number of serious technical and operational problems had already been encountered in the foundation phase so far.

"Without a significant and immediate change to the government’s present approach, which aims to install smart meters in 100 per cent of UK homes and businesses, the programme runs the risk of falling far short of expectations. At worst, it could prove to be a costly failure," said Tim Yeo MP, the Tory chair of the committee.

In March a report by the Institute of Directors (IoD) also warned that the government's rollout of smart meters should be "halted, altered or scrapped" to avoid a potentially catastrophic government IT disaster.

It described the scheme as “unwanted by consumers, over-engineered and mind-blowingly expensive."

Capita, which runs the Data Communications Company (DCC) responsible for rolling out the programme, has also said "there is no feasible way to maintain the time-scales".

However, the latest stats are an 'improvement' on the previous quarter, with 142,960 smart meters installed during the last three months of 2014. ®

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