Npower fined £2.4 million for failing to give business customers advanced meters

Npower will pay a fine of £2.4 million after it failed to install advanced meters for electricity business customers.

Suppliers had to install advanced meters at all their large business customers after 2009 and complete the rollout  by April 2014. Npower missed the deadline at nearly 4,000 meter points. What is more, it installed around 200 traditional meters when it should have given the businesses advanced meters.

Ofgem said that Npower had five years to take all reasonable steps to install advanced meters at 22,400 meter points. It installed advanced meters at only 15,200, and Ofgem found that the supplier did not take ‘all reasonable steps’ to install advanced meters at 4,000 of these meter points:

  • it left it too late in the roll-out period for its efforts to install advanced meters to be effective;
  • it did not make sufficient efforts to engage with customers to resolve installation difficulties;
  • it did not make sufficient efforts to ensure the meters were able to send meter readings

Rob Salter-Church, Ofgem interim executive director for consumers and markets said: “The government set a clear deadline for suppliers to ensure no business customers unnecessarily missed out on the benefits of advanced meters, including the opportunity to save money on their bills. The fine reflects that there were systemic failings by npower which led to the serious failure of not meeting the deadline.

“Suppliers must learn their lesson to make sure mistakes like this are not repeated in the roll-out of smart meters.”