Bad news for E.ON as they have had to fork out £7 million to the Carbon Trust after they were investigated by Ofgem for failing to meet their advanced metering rollout obligations.
All suppliers were advised by the government in 2009, that they must rollout advanced gas and electricity meters to large non-domestic customers by 6 April 2014. This affected a total of 155,000 businesses, who should have all been upgraded unless the supplier was unable to complete installation.
The meter upgrade comes as larger non-domestic businesses will be required to switch to half hourly metering by April 2017 under P322 rulings.
E.ON, who only installed 12,000 of the 20,000 meters they were responsible for, were not looked upon favourably by Ofgem, despite their defence that they had tried to install all meters. They explained that technology didn’t not work in the customer’s meter location (particularly if communications signals were poor) or the customer had not responded to their requests to access the meter to exchange it.
E.ON sent out an apology letter to TPIs to explain the reasoning for their shortfall:
“Installing advanced meters to tens of thousands of business customers across the country was always going to be a significant challenge and one that threw up a variety of hurdles for suppliers to overcome. That said, we cannot, and will not, overlook the fact that we did not do enough in time to meet the deadline. In the last 18 months we have invested heavily in increasing our capability and we are taking all reasonable steps to get these meters installed.
The findings make clear there was no deliberate attempt to avoid completing the obligation but we do accept that there were failings in our management systems which made the task all the more difficult. We’re clearly disappointed with this outcome and we’ve made progress towards getting things right on this. Our focus remains on ensuring we take all reasonable steps to install advanced meters to our business customers. At the same time our residential smart meter rollout continues at pace.”
However, the Ofgem investigation found that they could have done more to manage the installation process.
As a result, E.ON have given £7 million to the Carbon Trust to fund a two-year programme of free energy efficiency advice and support for around 2,000 small businesses across England, Scotland and Wales.