How much could your business save? Find out now!
Or, you can call us on: 0800 411 8830

Business Energy: £7m fine for smart meter failure


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.

Smart meters for business energy

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”.

Switch business energy

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.

Best business energy

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.

Our dedicated pages have lots more information about business gas and business electricity.

Related Articles

the arguments for and against fracking

Energy News 24/03/2017

Check out our weekly round up of the stories that have been making the headlines in the energy world over the ...

Read More
Business Brexit update

Brexit Small Business Update

Worried about Brexit or couldn't care less? We tell you what the next steps are, and what you should do to pre...

Read More
Power Plant Image

Energy News – 17/03/2017

Want to know what stories are making waves in the energy industry this week? Here are the big stories from the...

Read More
Excellent, 9.7 / 10

Helpful, friendly and we saved lots of money!

"Jessica Purnell was helpful and friendly, she made the whole process easy and simple AND we saved lots of money thanks Jess"

This review was posted by Melanie Baker on the 23rd of March 2017

Quick & Easy

"Kabibi was very helpful and the whole process was very efficient. The one small reservation I had was that I was phoned up by Kabibi almost immediately having received my online quote - which wasn't enough time for me to finish reading the quotes! Fortunately she was able to assist me in a greater savings on both Gas & Electricity, and so as long as the switchover is seamless I will remain very happy with the service."

This review was posted by Amanda Brown on the 21st of March 2017

Great Service

"I am very happy with Aaron's service. He has helped me save over £1000 a year on my businesses energy costs."

This review was posted by R Thomas on the 21st of March 2017

So helpful and quick

"Prompt advice and help from Ashley. I hadn't realised changing energy suppliers could be so easy and quick. Thanks so much. Will definitely recommend!"

This review was posted by charlotte on the 21st of March 2017

Easy and stress free

"I hate this time but f year when it's time to renew my electricity. I decided to use a comparison site this time round and never looked back. My advisor (Aaron Gallagher) was polite and knowledgable and efficiently changed my business."

This review was posted by Kevin on the 21st of March 2017