Ofgem threatens Avro Energy with new customers ban

The supplier has failed to become a Data Communications Company user to help drive the installation of next generation SMETS2 smart meters

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Ofgem has threatened Avro Energy with a ban from taking on new customers for not signing up to the smart meter wireless network.

The regulator is consulting on issuing the small energy supplier with a final order for breaching the requirement to become a Data Communications Company (DCC) user to help drive the installation of next generation SMETS2 meters.

The DCC is leading the design, build, test and integration of the data and communications infrastructure to connect smart meters to energy suppliers, network operators and other authorised service users.

All suppliers were required to become DCC users by 25th November 2017 as part of their obligation to take “all reasonable steps” to roll out smart meters to all their domestic and small business customers by the end of 2020.

Ofgem says Avro Energy has failed to become a DCC user and this prevents customers with a DCC-connected smart meter who switch to the supplier from using the smart functionality while existing customers will remain without the smart functionality.

The regulator said: “These smart meters will operate as traditional meters with customers needing to provide manual meter readings and unable to access the full benefits of smart meters.

“This can cause consumer detriment and could undermine consumer confidence in the smart meter programme and the switching process.”

The final order would ban the Avro Energy from taking on new customers if it has not become a DCC user by 26th May 2019 – the first “go-live” date for enrolling specified first generation SMETS1 smart meters into the DCC system – and would remain in place until it has done so.

The latest date for the supplier to join the DCC is 25th July 2019.

ELN has contacted Avro Energy for a statement.

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