British Gas Business to pay £4.5m for meter failures

British Gas Business has agreed to pay £4.5 million for failing to deliver advanced meters to some larger business customers. The government’s scheme to roll out advanced meters to businesses […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

British Gas Business has agreed to pay £4.5 million for failing to deliver advanced meters to some larger business customers.

The government’s scheme to roll out advanced meters to businesses began in 2009 as part of a national project to modernise the energy industry.

The technology gives near real-time information on energy use, helping consumers better manage their consumption, save money and cut emissions.

The Big Six supplier had five years to fit around 43,000 customers with the meters but failed to hit the April 2014 deadline.

Ofgem said the energy company “did not take all reasonable steps” to do so as it was legally required but has made further progress in rolling it out since the deadline.

British Gas Business will pay the amount to the Carbon Trust to help businesses save energy through audits, advice and energy efficiency measures.

Martin Crouch, Ofgem Senior Partner with responsibility for enforcement said: “British Gas Business failed to meet its mandatory deadline to install advanced meters leaving some larger business customers unable to benefit. The supplier has since taken further action to prioritise the rollout, improving its performance.

“This penalty sends out a clear message to the industry that suppliers must meet regulatory deadlines. Smart meters are being rolled out to smaller non-domestic customers and suppliers must learn their lesson ahead of delivering this programme.”

Gab Barbaro, Managing Director of British Gas Business accepts the company could have done more to meet the deadline.

He added: “British Gas Business made significant efforts to deliver advanced meters to its customers and installed more than 42,000 meters in businesses across the country ahead of the 2014 deadline. Since that date we’ve continued to install advanced meters in thousands of our customers’ businesses.”