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.
Under the Government’s advanced meter roll-out scheme, 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 Ofgem 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.
Rachel Fletcher, senior partner for Ofgem’s markets division, said:“We 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.”
“Regulatory 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.
“Ofgem monitored suppliers’ 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.