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Suppliers and Smart Meters

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

  • 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 conditions 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 suppliers has increased greatly in recent years.

This ‘inheritor’ position has created real challenges for business energy supplier and thus 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 give 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 component 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 compare, 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 energy suppliers are cautious 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 further of the official rollout.

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 come into smart meters with full functionality at no charge

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 come into smart meters with full functionality but at a charge In addition, SSE will support all advanced metering systems and organize 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 come into only some types of smart meter

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

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

Suppliers that will come into smart meters but will only operate them as dumb meters

At the most restricted end of the range, 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 relapse to being manually read and will lose all advanced metering functionality. If you’d like to find out more about how your business can benefit from smart meters call us on 08000488472, we'd love to hear from you.

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