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EDF Energy pays £350,000 for missing smart meter target

Steve Rogerson
June 19, 2018
 
EDF Energy is to pay a £350,000 penalty after the UK energy supplier missed its target to install smart meters for its customers in 2017.
 
Under the government’s smart meter roll-out programme, suppliers are required by law to take all reasonable steps to roll-out smart meters to all homes and small businesses by the end of 2020. To work towards this, suppliers set individual annual targets for smart meters to be installed for their customers, against which energy regulator Ofgem monitors compliance.
 
EDF Energy failed to meet its annual installations target for 2017. It met its target for last year in January this year, less than one month after the deadline. The supplier has since submitted targets for this year and plans for meeting them.
 
EDF Energy has also agreed to pay £350,000 into Ofgem’s consumer redress fund administered by the Energy Savings Trust, which supports consumers in vulnerable situations and the development of innovative products or services not available to energy consumers.
 
Due to these steps Ofgem has decided not to take formal enforcement action against the supplier.
 
“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 that we were three weeks late in reaching our 2017 target,” said Jim Poole, director of customer operations at EDF Energy. “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.”
 
As of March 2018, eleven million smart meters have been installed by all suppliers in households in total. Ofgem is closely monitoring suppliers’ approach to the roll-out of smart meters and will hold suppliers to account if they do not meet their obligations.
 
Last month Ofgem published its annual summary on suppliers’ overall progress against their targets and reminded suppliers that their customer communications to offer installations must be transparent and accurate.
 
“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,” said an Ofgem statement.
 
Larger energy suppliers – those with more than 250,000 customers – must set annual targets for the proportion of their customers that will have smart meters by the end of each year. These targets are commercially confidential.