A new smart meter installer training centre has opened in Newcastle and is considered to be one of the first of its kind to open in the north east of England.

Energy services company, Future Energy Solutions, has invested £100,000 into the new centre which has created six new jobs and is expected to create new employment opportunities for up to 2,000 trained engineers over the next five years.

The centre offers accredited training to those wishing to become smart meter installers. Up to 400 candidates will be trained every year.

Smart Meters are a new kind of energy meter which replace existing meters and work by communicating directly with the energy supplier. Smart Meters will ensure that all energy bills will be based on real time reading rather than estimates and customers can track energy usage accurately.

The plan is for smart meters to be in every home by 2020, with the roll-out scheduled to start in autumn 2015. Rolling out 53 million gas and electricity meters to all homes and small businesses in Great Britain by the end of 2020 requires careful planning and management by Ofgem. Most households will have smart meters installed by their energy company between 2015 and 2020.

Tim Cantle-Jones, Managing Director of Future Energy Solutions said: “This vocational training is very relevant and important at this time when plans are being put in place by energy suppliers to ensure that smart meters are installed in every house by 2020.

“We are delighted that this course will support the training of smart meter engineers from the North East, Yorkshire and Scotland”

The training centre is being operated in partnership with Nutech Training, which is based in Blackburn and has been delivering training for smart meter installers for over 18 months.

Neil Turner, Managing Director of Nutech Training said: “There is still a massive shortage of qualified smart metering engineers needed to support the government’s plans. This agreement with Future Energy Solutions provides an opportunity for the north east to be one of the first areas in the country to see widespread roll out of smart meter installations.”

Councillor Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council said: “I welcome this new business and congratulate them for creating these jobs in Newcastle. Energy bills take up so much of a household’s monthly income, so it can only be a good thing if accurate information enables people to better manage their money.

“Smart technology has many different applications and as it becomes more widespread will play an important role in the future of our cities.”

Future Energy Solutions