The Latest Smart Meter Blunder in the UK
According to The Daily Telegraph millions of smart meters installed in British households under the Government’s flagship scheme may need to be replaced due to an IT bungle. Last night consumer experts described the smart meter roll-out as a “cock up” while sources at major energy firms admitted the cost was “spiraling” despite customers receiving “sub-par experiences”.
Major energy suppliers have admitted that some of the 8 million “first generation” smart meters fitted in households are incompatible with a new nation al communications network, which links their systems to the devices.
Estimates show a worst case scenario in which every smart meter has to be replaced would add as much as £100 to every UK household’s energy bill, although sources said this was unlikely. Even a programming overhaul would come at a cost of £500 million.
A senior source at one major energy supplier said: “We have a smart meter trilemma: if we don’t roll out smart meters we can be fined. If we do, we know we could be offering a sub-par consumer experience. And all the while we’re told by BEIS to never mention the costs.”
Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert.com, said: “The rollout of smart meters has been a cock up and a catastrophe. Energy firms are now using it as a soft form of trapping people into poor deals as they can’t switch providers without their meters going dumb.”