To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what information energy suppliers are required to provide (a) his Department and (b) Ofgem to assist with monitoring the roll-out of smart meters to vulnerable, low income and pre-payment meter customers.
On an annual basis larger suppliers are required to provide the Department with a qualitative report on their roll-out strategies, including plans to engage with vulnerable and pre-payment customers. Smaller suppliers are also required to provide annual data on their plans for engaging vulnerable customers. Low income households are not defined as a separate category.
The Department also collects quarterly data from larger energy suppliers which includes details of smart meters installed and operated in pre-payment mode, and details of their plans for installing smart meters, including where those meters will be operated in pre-payment mode. The same information is collected annually from small suppliers.
Ofgem collects data from the larger suppliers on the number of pre-payment meters that have been replaced with smart meters, and from January 2016 suppliers will report on the number of customers on the Priority Services Register who have a smart meter installed. This data will be collected annually. The larger suppliers will also shortly be submitting qualitative roll-out plans to Ofgem, explaining how they plan to develop their IT systems to support the rollout of smart pre-payment.
Separately, Ofgem is reviewing suppliers’ policies and practices relating to charges for installing and removing pre-payment meters, which will also cover aspects of smart meter services. The review will also look at company practices in relation to security deposits, including for customers with smart meters. Ofgem will report on its findings in summer 2015.