The deadline for the installation of smart meters should be extended, according to a new report.

Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) called for fresh targets to be set, with 80% of meters to be installed by 2020 and 100% by 2025.

The report – which was compiled by CAG Consultants, the Changeworks environmental charity and the University of Edinburgh – concluded that the current timetable is increasing the cost of the roll-out and is leading to a higher number of lower-functionality SMETS 1 meters being installed.

Ofgem should work with electricity suppliers to install SMETS 2 meters in rural areas, which have the ability to report power cuts, the report suggested.

Help for those on pre-payment meters

David Moyes, energy spokesman for CAS’s Consumer Futures Unit, said: “We fully support the programme to install a smart meter in every home in the country.

“However, our research has shown that there are significant problems with the government’s current timescale, with the deadline of 2020. We believe this is going to make the process more expensive and less effective than it could be.

“Our report also highlights other ways in which vulnerable consumers can be helped to get the most from their smart meter. For example, more support after installation and more friendly credit options of those on pre-payment meters.”

> Download the report