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Smart Energy GB response to Ofgem’s annual report

18th June 2018

Commenting on Ofgem’s annual report published today, Robert Cheesewright, Director of Policy and Communications at Smart Energy GB said:

“We welcome the news from Ofgem that the number of prepayment meters being installed by energy suppliers to deal with debt is decreasing. The traditional prepayment meters installed in homes to replace credit meters add costs to households, at a time when they are already struggling with their energy bills.”

“The rollout of smart meters is transforming and improving our energy system and as each day passes, more and more consumers are feeling the benefits of being smart. Smart meters eliminate additional costs for consumers who fall into debt, as a smart meter can be switched to operate in ‘prepayment’ mode without the need for a replacement meter. With an improved experience at what must be a time of great stress, those with smart prepayment meters can for the first time, use their in-home display to identify energy waste at home, take steps to be more energy efficient and bring down their spending on gas and electricity.”

  • When a consumer using analogue meters falls into arrears, as a last resort the supplier may choose to install analogue prepayment meters – the cost of installing these meters is often added to the consumers debt. 
  • A smart meter can be switched remotely from credit to prepayment, eliminating the costs of replacing the meter.
  • A smart prepayment consumer has the benefit of an in-home display that allows them to see how much credit they have remaining at a glance (and without having to scrabble around in the meter cupboard to read the display on the meter), avoiding the risk of the lights unexpectedly going out.
  • By using the in-home display consumers can identify and eliminate energy waste at home – nearly 8 in ten people with smart meters say that they have taken at least one step to reduce their energy use. (source: Smart energy outlook of over 10,000 people - March 2018)
  • Having smart prepayment meters installed provides consumers with additional ways in which they can top up. They can still top up at a shop (the only option for analogue prepayment) but can also top up over the phone, online or via an app.

-ENDS-

Notes to editors

  • When a consumer using analogue meters falls into arrears, as a last resort the supplier may choose to install analogue prepayment meters – the cost of installing these meters is often added to the consumers debt. 
  • A smart meter can be switched remotely from credit to prepayment, eliminating the costs of replacing the meter.
  • A smart prepayment consumer has the benefit of an in-home display that allows them to see how much credit they have remaining at a glance (and without having to scrabble around in the meter cupboard to read the display on the meter), avoiding the risk of the lights unexpectedly going out.
  • By using the in-home display consumers can identify and eliminate energy waste at home – nearly 8 in ten people with smart meters say that they have taken at least one step to reduce their energy use. (source: Smart energy outlook of over 10,000 people - March 2018)
  • Having smart prepayment meters installed provides consumers with additional ways in which they can top up. They can still top up at a shop but can also top up over the phone, online or via an app.

About Smart Energy GB

Smart Energy GB is the voice of the smart meter rollout. It’s our task to help everyone in Great Britain understand smart meters, the national rollout and how to use their new meters to get their gas and electricity under control. Our national campaign is reaching households and microbusinesses in England, Scotland and Wales.

About smart meters and the rollout

Smart meters replace the traditional meters we currently have in our homes. They enable accurate bills, near real time information on energy use in pounds and pence, and greater control over the way we buy and use energy. The smart meter rollout is an essential technology upgrade, unprecedented in its scale, to improve Great Britain’s energy infrastructure.

There are already more than 11 million smart meters installed in homes and microbusinesses across Great Britain. Every household in England, Scotland and Wales will be offered one at no additional cost. Contact your energy supplier about getting your free smart meter.

Smart Energy GB media contacts

For more information including interview requests, case studies of smart meter users, infographics, photography and video content please contact the Smart Energy GB media team: 

Stephen Shawcross: [email protected]; 0203 019 1057

Ben Welling: [email protected]; 0203 019 1063 / 0792 181 9353