SSE has agreed to pay Ofgem a fee of £700,000 for its failure to meet smart meter installation targets.
The regulator Ofgem set targets for large suppliers (companies supplying energy for more than 250,000 consumers) requiring them to make reasonable progress installing smart meters for domestic and business customers by the end of 2020.
Energy suppliers set their own annual targets for installing the smart meters and Ofgem monitored their progress.
While SSE managed to hit its 2018 target for installing electricity meters, it was nearly two months late with gas smart meters.
SSE voluntarily agreed to pay £700,000 in order “to avoid formal enforcement action” by Ofgem. The money will be paid into the regulator’s voluntary consumer redress fund. This fund is controlled by the Energy Saving Trust and is used to help vulnerable customers, as well the “development of innovative energy products and services”.
When commenting on the missed target, Chris Adams, director of metering and smart transformation at SSE, said: “SSE Energy Services is fully committed to the rollout of smart meters and to delivering the benefits of smart meters for customers. We worked hard during 2018 to successfully transition to the new generation of smart meter, which brings full functionality to customers, and installed around 600,000 meters during the year. However, while there were many achievements in 2018, we are disappointed that we fell slightly short on meeting out gas target.
“We quickly recovered the shortfall during February 2019 and are on target for the year ahead. We have worked with Ofgem to resolve this matter as quickly as possible and have agreed to make a payment to Ofgem’s voluntary redress fund.”
Smart meters are being considered increasingly important for consumers as they can help monitor energy consumption, helping to save energy and money for the consumer. They also mean that customers no longer have to take their own meter readings or receive bills based on estimated readings, which are not always accurate.