I moved supplier a couple of years ago to save money on my energy bills. However, when I did my smart meter stopped working.
I moved back to my original supplier, Eon, in an attempt to get it working again but still it would not work.
I am 87 years old and my meters are located where I cannot reach them therefore I need them working as my estimated bills are getting higher and higher.
What can I do to resolve this issue and get my smart meter working again?
Many first generation smart meters are known to lose their functionality when people switch
Grace Gausden, This is Money, replies: Unfortunately you are not unique in findingyourself in this situation.
Many people who have had first generation smart meters, known as SMETS1, installed have since found that when they switch supplier to save money on their bills their devices have gone dumb, losing all functionality.
You switched from Eon about four years ago in the hopes you could save money on your energy bills but you soon noticed your smart meter wasn’t working anymore.
After contacting Green Energy, your new supplier, you were told that they could not replace or fix your existing smart meter.
Therefore, you switched back to Eon as you assumed the meter would then start working again.
However, after moving back to Eon, the smart meter still didn’t work and Eon advised you that modern technology can takes years to bring up to date and it was unlikely the devices would work again.
It added that it would not be able to update your meter.
You say you were keen to get it fixed as you noticed your bills were increasing quite substantially due to the estimated readings.
As your meter is located where you cannot reach, you are unable to take a manual reading to send to your supplier either.
Eon said that it would not be possible to update the smart meters that are no longer working
You were further frustrated after you spoke to Eon about the £500 of credit you had accrued.
The supplier told you it wouldn’t be possible to have it back in one lump sum and instead you would receive it back by having a small amount taken off your bill each month.
Every time you have tried to speak to Eon about these issues, you were told that there was not much that they could do.
An Eon spokesman replies: First generation SMETS1 smart meters start working like traditional meters if the customer switches supplier. We ensure customers are made aware of this before they have a smart meter installed.
Like the rest of the industry, we will be able to enroll SMETS1 meters into the Data Communications Company to enable customers to switch between suppliers and maintain smart functionality without customers needing a meter exchange.
We’ve spoken to Mr S to explain that he doesn’t need to call us monthly with his meter readings as he’s on quarterly billing, and have booked a meter reading appointment for him.
Going forwards, he can call us when he wants his meter read and we’ll arrange for someone to go to his home and do this for him.
Robert Cheesewright, director of communications at Smart Energy GB, replies: We recognise that it can be challenging for people who have lost their smart service, but this is not permanent.
First generation meters are being upgraded over the air and will regain their smart functionality. Already, more than 1.6 million first generation meters have been enrolled.
A smart energy system, enabled by smart meters, will help Britain meet our net zero targets and allow for greater take-up and integration of electric vehicles and low carbon heating alternatives.
Grace Gausden, This is Money, adds: The first generation meters, also known as SMETS1 devices, were found to have a fault where many stopped working after customers switched suppliers.
The second generation meters, SMETS2 devices, were meant to rectify this problem, however, many suppliers are still not installing these and continue to install the SMETS1 models.
New smart meter installations have also plummeted this year, thanks to the coronavirus.
The number of smart meters operating in smart mode at the end of June was almost unchanged from three months’ previous – with an increase of just 0.4 per cent, according to official smart meter statistics from the government.
As a result, in June 2020, the government announced that the current smart meter rollout obligation would be extended until 30 June 2021 and that a new obligation to roll out smart meters will commence on 1 July 2021.
The official target for every home and business to have a smart meter has been pushed back again, this time to mid-2025.
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