Nine energy suppliers could have licences withdrawn
The issue relates to a technology system bridging the differences between the older SMETS1 smart meter and the newer, next generation SMETS2 smart meters.
Under the Data Communications Company (DCC) requirement which came into effect in November 2017, smart meters retain their functionality even if customers switch energy suppliers.
However, the nine suppliers have failed to comply. This means customers with a DCC-connected smart meter switching to any of the nine suppliers will lose functionality of their smart meter. As such, they’ll have to provide manual meter readings.
Energy regulator, Ofgem, said this causes “consumer detriment and could undermine consumer confidence in the smart meter programme and the switching process”.
It is consulting on whether to issue a final order which would require them to join the DCC scheme by 31 March 2020. If issued, the nine suppliers would be banned from taking on new customers and could ultimately have their licences revoked if they fail to become DCC users as per the final orders.
The nine suppliers are:
- Ampoweruk Ltd
- Better Energy Supply Limited
- Daligas Limited
- Enstroga Ltd
- Entice Energy Supply Limited
- Euston Energy Ltd (trading as Northumbria)
- Green Energy Supply Limited
- Symbio Energy Limited
- UK National Gas Ltd.
Peter Earl, head of energy at comparethemarket.com, said: “This issue around meeting DCC requirements adds to the list of growing pains the smart meter programme has faced to date. Smart meters rely on technology, so it’s imperative that all suppliers are connected in the same way in order for the programme to be a success. Without commitment from all suppliers to all aspects of the smart meter roll out, it becomes harder for consumers to embrace this technology and switch supplier with confidence.”