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15 June 2018

United Kingdom: EDF Energy to Pay £350,000 Smart-Meter Penalty

EDF Energy to pay £350,000 smart-meter penalty
Adam Vaughan, The Guardian, 15 June 2018

Company fails to meet annual target of fitting smart meters in customers’ homes

The government wants all households to be offered a smart
meter by 2020.  Photo:  Alamy
EDF Energy has agreed to pay out £350,000 for failing to fit enough smart meters in customers’ houses, the first time an energy supplier has been penalised for missing domestic smart meter targets.

Every large energy supplier has an annual target for rolling out smart meters, which provide consumers with real-time electricity usage data and automate readings, with a government goal of all households being offered one by the end of 2020.

Having missed its target last year, EDF Energy agreed with the energy regulator, Ofgem, to pay £350,000 for consumer redress.

The French state-owned company said it was disappointed it missed the target but had since caught up and was on track to hit this year’s target.



Jim Poole, the director of customer operations, said: “During 2017 we doubled our smart meter installation rates and employed more people to install smart meters.”

No further action will be taken against EDF Energy, though Ofgem said it was “closely monitoring suppliers’ approach to the roll-out of smart meters and will hold suppliers to account if they do not meet their obligations”.

Just over 11m smart meters have been installed in homes so far. The consumer group Which? has calculated that installers will need to fit 24 meters a minute, 24 hours a day, every day, to meet the 2020 goal.

However, the head of the smart meter campaign recently insisted that progress was “getting back on track”.

The exact number of meters EDF had to install was not released because it was considered commercially confidential. The company has installed at least 600,000 so far.

The majority of meters installed to date have been first-generation ones, known as SMETS1, which have been criticised for deterring customers from switching suppliers.

In most cases, when a household with a SMETS1 meter switches supplier the meter loses its smart functionality. A software fix is due in October to make the meters work across suppliers, but some experts have raised doubts whether this will be the case.

Around 1,000 next-generation, inter-operable meters, known as SMETS2, have been fitted.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/jun/15/edf-energy-to-pay-350000-smart-meter-penalty

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