Utilita Energy calls for review into smart meter rollout

Wednesday, 25th April 2018, 11:06 am
Updated Wednesday, 25th April 2018, 11:07 am

A leading energy company has called for the Government to push back the deadline for the installation of smart meters.

Utilita Energy has confirmed it has filed for a judicial review into the end date for the installation of SMETS1 meters for Pay As You Go (PAYG) customers.

The company - listed as a Which? Top 5 energy supplier for customer service - says SMETS2 meters can have a negative impact, potentially leaving millions of vulnerable households in the dark if the network is down.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has moved the deadline back another three months from July to October 2018, following a number of previous delays.

But Utilita has repeatedly urged BEIS to push it back to at least 2020 for PAYG customers.

Better service?

“We have been left with no choice but to take this course of action - this is not a decision we have taken lightly,” said Utilita Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Bill Bullen.

“The smart meter rollout is designed to offer a better level of service for households. We believe abandoning SMETS1 meters at this time will have the reverse effect for millions of low income households that use PAYG.

“It’s been suggested SMETS2 meters are more advanced than SMETS1 meters – but this is simply not true. Indeed, for the PAYG market SMETS1 are secure, cost effective, interoperable and provide additional functionality not supported by SMETS2 meters.

“Our motivation is purely in the best interests of PAYG households – many of whom are among the most vulnerable in the country.

“It is indisputable that SMETS1 meters currently offers them a better level of service.”