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Suppliers and Smart Meters

Energy suppliers have two main relationships with ‘Smart’ or ‘Advanced’ meters, these are as:

  • The installer, or as
  • The inheritor

As the pre-Smart Meter Roll Out deployment of smart meters gathers pace there are estimated to be more than 500,000 advanced metering systems deployed in businesses across the UK, in most circumstances these have been installed by forward thinking business energy suppliers.

However since smart meters have now been around for more than 10 years, the propensity for businesses with advanced metering installed to switch energy supplier has increased greatly in recent years.

This ‘inheritor’ role has created real challenges for business energy supplier and as a result not all suppliers are able or are keen to support advanced metering.

Suppliers actively installing smart meters

Those suppliers who are actively installing Smart Meters as part of their supply deals and doing so in advance of the 2015-20 Smart Meter Roll Out are:

These business energy suppliers provide a fully inclusive smart metering package as part of their energy contracts.

However, you may notice that the list only includes one of the Big 6; as a result the vast majority of businesses will not see a Smart Meter installed as part of their energy contract, as still the bulk of business energy customers are contracted to the traditional Big 6 energy suppliers.

Suppliers not currently installing smart meters

In contrast, the following business energy suppliers do not install advanced metering:

The uncertainty surrounding the planned Smart Meter Roll Out is preventing the larger suppliers, with correspondingly larger portfolios of business energy customers, from installing advanced and smart meters.

The Big 6 business energy suppliers are wary of the risk of interoperability and changing specifications and protocols that may render significant investment today as obsolete in a short few years. Hence the reticence to install ahead of the official roll out.

This issue of interoperability is already being seen today, with business energy suppliers having very different approaches to supporting non-proprietary advanced metering systems.

Suppliers that will inherit smart meters with full functionality at no cost

The following business energy suppliers will inherit all types, makes and ages of smart meters and crucially support their full functionality at no additional cost:

Suppliers that will inherit smart meters with full functionality but at a cost

In addition, SSE will support all advanced metering systems and deploy their full functionality however they will levy an additional charge on the customer for doing so. SSE will charge Gas smart meter customers £16 per Quarter, and Profile 03-04 electricity £18.60 per Quarter in order to continue receiving their full smart meter functionality.

Suppliers that will inherit only some types of smart meter

A further three suppliers are only willing, or able, to support some types of advanced meter:

  • Scottish Power will only support smart meters that have been installed by the independent metering business BGlobal
  • Total Gas & Power will support smart meters however this is entirely model dependent

Suppliers that will inherit smart meters but will only operate them as dumb meters

At the most limited end of the spectrum, DONG Energy Sales, EDF Energy and Ovo Energy will ‘inherit’ smart meters however they will treat them as a ‘dumb’ meter, in other words the meter will revert to being manually read and will lose all advanced metering functionality.

To find out more about the 2015-20 Smart Meter Roll out visit our guide to The Smart Meter Roll Out.

If you’d like to find out more about how your business can benefit from smart meters call us on 0800 051 5770, we’d love to hear from you.