E.ON – one Britain’s Big Six energy suppliers – has been fined £7 million by the regulator for failing to supply relevant business customers through advanced electricity meters by the April 2014 deadline.
The roll-out is part of a national project to modernise the energy sector and provide better service by introducing next-generation, smarter meters to help customers control their usage and bills.
The utility giant had five years to fit around 20,000 customers with, and supply electricity through advanced meters. E.ON only completed 64.4% of its roll-out, meaning over 7,000 customers did not get a meter on time.
E.ON was unable to demonstrate that it took all reasonable steps to fulfil its required meter rollout. The supplier failed to plan and monitor its roll-out and its senior management did not do enough to ensure it complied. E.ON has also gained financially by avoiding the costs of installing and operating the new meters.
Anthony Pygram, Ofgem senior partner with responsibility for enforcement, said: “It’s unacceptable that E.ON failed to roll out advanced meters to these business customers on time. Customers have lost out on receiving better information about their energy consumption and the opportunity to control costs.
“Unless E.ON improves their poor record, they will have to pay out even more and may face a sales ban.
The supplier has accepted it needs to do more and has agreed that unless it meets an interim target within the next year, it will pay a further £7 million in redress. If E.ON is still not compliant with its obligations after a further six months, we are ready to consider imposing a sales ban preventing them from taking on new business customers until it is able to supply them through an advanced meter.”
The £7 million fine will go to the Carbon Trust to fund delivery of energy saving audits, energy savings advice, and installation of energy efficiency measures to help small and medium sized businesses across Great Britain save energy.