Smart Meter Merger to Benefit Energy Suppliers
An upcoming merger between smart meter firms will enable them to create a ‘one-stop-shop’ for energy suppliers. Smart meter financing firm Calvin Capital has agreed to buy meter reading and data collection services company Lowri Beck.
An End-to-End Market Offering
The merger of the two firms will create an ‘end-to-end market offering’ according to Calvin Capital. The new combined service will consist of the installation, maintenance, management and funding of domestic smart meters.
Calvin Capital also insist that the merger will provide a platform for future funding for the smart meter rollout. There will also be opportunities for the implementation of other energy assets like battery storage and electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
The CEO of the buying firm, Bert Piljs, said of Calvin Capital’s acquisition of Lowri Beck:
“This is a very positive development for two complementary businesses and for the wider energy market. Bringing together Calvin with Lowri Beck will enable us to create a ‘one-stop-shop’ offering that will be available to all energy suppliers and new market entrants through a broader array of services, ranging from full metering-as-a-service to bespoke installation, servicing or funding solutions.
“In addition, Lowri Beck’s expertise will help Calvin to accelerate the development of a sustainable digital energy infrastructure beyond smart meters.”
Energy Suppliers Benefit as Two Become One
Calvin Capital have been playing an important role in the rollout of smart meter technology. By financing smart meter installations on the behalf of energy suppliers, they are helping develop a new digital energy infrastructure. They own approximately 7.3 million smart meter assets that have already been installed.
Lowri Beck’s role in the smart meter rollout is the removal of old meters and installation of new smart meters. They serve both large and small suppliers, and as well as installation services, they also collect data from the meters. They have been installing over 300,000 domestic meters a year and currently collect data from around five million meters.
Once the buyout is complete, Lowri Beck will continue operating independently. However, energy suppliers will now be dealing with a single entity with communicative departments rather than two entirely separate companies.
Smart Meter Rollout ‘Slowing Down’
Despite the efforts of Calvin Capital and Lowri Beck, there are concerns that the smart meter rollout is behind schedule. The current target for every home to have a smart meter installed is by the end of 2020. However figures show installation rates slowed by 16% during the final quarter of 2018.
Gillian Guy from Citizens Advice said:
“Smart meters will provide benefits for customers, but with the rollout beset by technical problems, the current timetable is unrealistic. There’s little chance that the 2020 deadline will be met, it should be extended to 2023.”
The main reason cited for the slowdown is suppliers delaying installations in order to incorporate second generation smart meters.
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