An investigation has been launched by Ofgem, to look into why British Gas, npower and Eon have such a low rollout of advanced electricity meters for business customers.
Ofgem will be looking to find out why the 3 companies have the lowest installation figures, and whether they took “all reasonable steps” to fulfill their obligation to install the meters.
Suppliers were required to fit the advanced meters and supply electricity through them to 155,000 business customers by April 2014, under the government’s advanced meter rollout scheme of 2009.
But assessments undertaken by the regulator show that the rollout was only 75 per cent complete for electricity meters by this deadline, compared to a completion rate of 86 per cent for gas. British Gas, Eon and npower had the lowest completion rates in electricity, Ofgem said.
The three suppliers account for over half of the 40,000 advanced electricity meters still waiting to be installed, and though the deadline has passed, “all suppliers must continue to press ahead with the rollout of advanced meters”, said Ofgem in a statement.
The senior partner of Ofgem market division, Rachel Fletcher said “We are disappointed in the overall performance of the majority of suppliers concerning the rollout 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.”
She added, “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 rollout of meters for business customers and apply them to the domestic smart meter rollout.”