Ofgem has today launched investigations into British Gas, E.ON and npower over their advanced electricity meter roll-out performance.
Under the Governmentís advanced meter roll-out scheme, which began in 2009, suppliers had to take all reasonable steps to fit 155,000 business customers with, and supply electricity through, advanced electricity meters by April 2014. Based on our assessments, the roll-out was only 75% complete in electricity, compared to 86% complete in gas. British Gas, E.ON and npower had the lowest completion rates in electricity, accounting for over half of the 40,000 advanced electricity meters still waiting to be installed.
Irrespective of the deadline having passed, all suppliers must continue to press ahead with the roll-out of advanced meters. Todayís investigations are opened into the three companies with the lowest completion rates. However, there were a number of other suppliers who also did not roll out advanced meters to all their eligible customers. Ofgem will keep the need for action in respect to these suppliers under review.
Advanced meters offer customers better and timelier information about their energy consumption. This enhanced information is an opportunity to control costs, with the government estimating that overall businesses will save around £40m annually.
Rachel Fletcher, senior partner for Ofgemís markets division, said: ìWe are disappointed in the overall performance of the majority of suppliers concerning the roll-out of advanced meters to business customers. These new meters offer real benefits to customers including saving money through reduced energy consumption and ending estimated billing.î
ìRegulatory and government programmes are not optional and failure to meet these in a timely way causes consumer harm. All suppliers can and must learn the lessons from the roll-out of meters for business customers and apply them to the domestic smart meter roll-out.î
Ofgem monitored suppliersí progress throughout the roll-out and repeatedly reinforced the need to deliver on time. Our investigation will look at whether British Gas, E.ON and npower took all reasonable steps to fulfil their obligation to fit advanced meters.
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