EDF Energy fined £350k over missed smart meter targets
The energy giant met its target for 2017 in January this year, less than a month late.
Under the government’s smart meter roll-out programme, by law, large energy suppliers (those with 250,000+ customers) need to take “all reasonable steps to install them” in customer homes and small business premises by the end of 2020.
Suppliers set individual annual targets for the smart meter installation and energy regulator, Ofgem monitors compliance. These targets however are “commercially sensitive” so are not published.
Smart meters aren’t compulsory and not everyone is eligible, perhaps due to technology constraints. See YourMoney.com’s Smart meter guide for more information.
Ofgem guidance states that communication with customers about smart meters must be complete, accurate and not misleading.
As of March 2018, 11 million smart meters have been installed by all suppliers in households in total.
The £350,000 penalty will be paid into Ofgem’s consumer redress fund which helps vulnerable customers. Ofgem added that no further enforcement action will be taken.
Ofgem said: “While we encourage testing of different approaches to engagement, suppliers must consider whether the approach is appropriate for the customer and adapt it based on customer feedback.”
Jim Poole, director of customer operations at EDF Energy said: “EDF Energy is working hard to meet its smart meter programme objectives, delivering the benefits of smart meters to our customers, and we are disappointed we were three weeks late in reaching our 2017 target.
“During 2017 we doubled our smart meter installation rates and employed more people to install smart meters. We recovered the shortfall quickly in 2018 and are on target for this year.
“We have worked with Ofgem to resolve this matter quickly, and have agreed to make a payment to a fund for vulnerable customers.”