Energy News – 21/01/2017
The week of Donald Trump’s inauguration has seen shaky energy markets, a landmark Brexit speech by Theresa M...Read More
The take-up of smart meters among business energy users has been criticised as too slow. One of the ‘Big Six’ business energy suppliers must pay £7 million, a sign that changes might soon be coming.
Ofgem, the UK’s the independent energy regulator, has asked E.ON to pay £7 million for failing to supply business energy customers with smart meters. E.ON delivered advanced meters to less than 65% of its relevant electricity business customers by April 2014 deadline, as Ofgem outlined in an online release.
The £7 million it must now pay will go to the Carbon Trust. If a new deadline is not met within the next year, E.ON will have to pay another £7 million and Ofgem may consider a sales ban on taking on new business customers until E.ON can supply them with an advanced meter.
Despite some good resources about smart meters (including our own guide), takeup of smart meters has been somewhat disappointing. The potential to lower business energy usage though much better insights offers a win-win; cutting energy use in a time of tight supplies and saving SMEs money.
The new E.ON case comes at a good time; as Ofgem says, it “sends a strong signal to all suppliers about the importance of complying with deadlines”.
The Government’s advanced meter roll-out scheme for businesses began in 2009. Under this, E.ON had five years to fit around 20,000 customers with, and supply electricity through advanced meters.
But more than 7,000 customers did not get a meter on time and E.ON has not been able to “demonstrate that it took all reasonable steps” to ensure its customers were given smart meters. Ofgem claims that E.ON “gained financially by avoiding the costs of installing and operating the new meters”.
Business energy suppliers may seem reticent to roll out advanced meters. But they are still required to provide smart meters to business energy customers.
Many business energy suppliers have been doing well with the smart meter rollout, and even E.ON has made some further progress since April 2014, according to Ofgem.
For UK small to medium sized enterprises, frustration at not being offered a smart mater may turn to (cautious) optimism: E.ON’s £7 million loss, followed by a possible further £7 million, should act as a warning to others.
As 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.
Smart meters have the potential to transform the business energy market, as Pygram remarked. But time-poor SME owner-managers often have many other things to worry about.
For free and fast advice on smart meter installation, SwitchMyBusiness.com offers comprehensive business energy comparisons that can include information about smart meters (along with a range of other information). It only takes 20 minutes so give us a call on 0330 0100 251 (or request a call back using our form) now.
Excellent, efficient service
"Mark at Switch My Business has always been extremely helpful and efficient in finding us the best until the deals and handing the transition between old and new companies. Would recommend 100%."This review was posted by Karl Hopkins on the 24th of January 2017
"Aaron Gallagher provided me with a very good service. Simple switch made easy. Thank You"This review was posted by Giani on the 24th of January 2017
"It was an absolute pleasure dealing with Mark. He was courteous, very customer focused. Mark was able to answer all my questions and was very informed. I would have no hesitation recommending your company. Having been a manager in global blue chip organisation I would not hesitate in employing Mark. A definite asset to any team. Cheerful, polite and a lovely disposition."This review was posted by Caroline Dyke on the 24th of January 2017
Very helpful and friendly
"Very helpful and friendly - explained it clearly and made the process quick and easy"This review was posted by Anne O'Hara on the 24th of January 2017
"Mark was a pleasure to deal with and worked hard to provide the best rates and explain what options were available to us without making us feel under pressure."This review was posted by LORRAINE LAWRENCE on the 24th of January 2017