Landis+Gyr expects to double its 600 strong UK workforce to 1200 as a result of a £600m deal with British Gas.

The agreement means that the Swiss-based technology organisation will supply the majority of the 16 million smart meters British Gas will install in its customers' homes, which will replace current gas and electricity devices by 2020.

The deal will also mean that Landis+Gyr, which is owned by Toshiba, will extend its manufacturing facilities to meet not only the demands of British Gas's roll-out, but also those of its other UK customers.

"Our £600m investment in Landis+Gyr's smart metering solutions means we can provide smart meters cost-effectively to our customers, and bring them the benefits of this innovative technology as soon as possible," said Chris Weston Managing Director of British Gas.

"British Gas is leading the industry in the deployment of smart meters as part of our commitment to reshaping the energy industry for the digital era, making it easier for customers to understand their energy use and keep bills under control."

Andreas Umbach, chief executive officer of Landis+Gyr, added: "This is the largest deal of its kind worldwide and sets a new industry standard for working in partnership.

"It allows us to achieve significant economies of scale in meter production, to expand our UK operations and to further establish the UK as a global centre of smart energy excellence."

The news follows the government's decision in May to delay the smart meter roll-out, which was supported by consumer champion Which?

Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, said the delay was due to more time being needed if the scheme was to "get off to the best possible start" and "ensure a quality experience for consumers".

"The government is right to take its time to ensure the installation of smart meters in every home is a success but it should use this delay to trial regional roll-outs, similar to the digital TV switchover," said Which? Executive Director Richard Lloyd.