Big Six supplier npower fined £2.4m over advanced meter failings

Ofgem said it failed to install nearly 4,000 advanced meters for business customers by the April 2014 deadline

Big Six supplier npower has been ordered to pay £2.4 million for failing to meet the deadline for installing advanced electricity meters.

Ofgem said some business customers lost out on the benefits of advanced meters, which provide better information about energy consumption and help control costs.

It added npower failed to install nearly 4,000 advanced meters for business customers by the April 2014 deadline and it installed around 200 traditional meters when it was required to upgrade them, breaching one of its licence conditions.

The installations were part of the government’s scheme to roll out advanced meters to businesses which started in 2009.

The Big Six supplier had five years to take “all reasonable steps” to install advanced meters for its large non-domestic customers but the regulator said it failed to do so and therefore did not meet its legal requirements.

Rob Salter-Church, Ofgem Interim Executive Director for Consumers and Markets added: “npower is paying the price for failing to meet its obligations and letting down its business customers.

“The government set a clear deadline for suppliers to ensure no business customers unnecessarily missed out on the benefits of advanced meters, including the opportunity to save money on their bills. The fine reflects that there were systemic failings by npower which led to the serious failure of not meeting the deadline. Suppliers must learn their lesson to make sure mistakes like this are not repeated in the roll out of smart meters.”

A spokesperson from npower said: “Ofgem’s announcement today draws a line under an investigation which relates to events several years ago. npower remains committed to supporting our customers to benefit from AMR [Automatic Meter Reading] and smart metering.”

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