Supplier led roll-out

The government requires suppliers to install smart meters in their customers' homes, and is setting out rules to ensure that they do this in a way that is in the interests of customers, including rules around:

  • data access
  • security
  • technical standards for the smart metering equipment
  • meeting the needs of vulnerable customers.

Smart Meters will be rolled out as standard across the country by 2025. But there will not be a legal obligation on individuals to have one.

Energy companies will be required to install smart meters and take all reasonable steps to reach everyone. However, the government do not expect energy companies to take legal action to fit a smart meter if they cannot get the householder's co-operation.

So, does this mean you could refuse to have one? Yes, it does, unless your current meter is faulty or at the end of its certified life. But for most people it would be difficult to think of a genuine reason to refuse a smart meter. Refusing does not save you money and reduces the options you have to monitor your energy consumption and the selection of products and payment options open to you in the future.

Organisation

The Smart Metering Implementation Programme is led by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ), regulated by the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem), and delivered by energy suppliers.

Before 2023 it was led by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

What to do if your Supplier has gone bust

If your current supplier has gone bust there is no need to panic, the only thing you need to do is take a meter reading as close as possible to the date of the transfer. Your energy supply will continue uninterrupted, and the balance of your account will be transferred to your new supplier. The transfer is complex, so it is best not to try to switch to another supplier at this stage as this complicates the process even more and increases the risk of something going wrong.

  1. Take a meter reading, sit tight and don't switch - if you already were moving to a new supplier this will continue.
  2. Wait for Ofgem to appoint a new supplier - Your supply won't be disrupted, and your balance of money will be protected.
  3. Read information from your new Supplier - Your new supplier will contact you with details of their recommended tariff; change this by contacting them if you wish. You will not be charged any exit fees from your old Supplier. The time it takes for your new supplier to contact you seems to vary widely from 4 to 12 weeks.

    At this stage you can choose to move to another supplier but only after the new supplier has taken you on.

Ofgem have a list of suppliers that have gone bust with the name and date that the new suppliers took over.

(Page updated: 2022-06-10)

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