Energy: Meters

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 8th March 2017.

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Photo of Steve McCabe Steve McCabe Labour, Birmingham, Selly Oak

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of the installation of smart meters on customers' ability to switch supplier.

Photo of Margot James Margot James Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

The Government’s aim is that smart meters installed by one supplier can be operated by another so that consumers can switch energy supplier readily and retain the benefits of their smart metering service. That is why the Data and Communications Company (DCC), and the latest version of the smart metering technical specifications (known as SMETS2), have been established.

Smart meters complying with the first version of the technical specifications (SMETS1) are delivering real benefits to consumers and have helped the industry prepare for the main installation stage of the roll-out. Consumers with these meters are still able to switch supplier. If the new supplier is not able to operate the meter in smart mode, the meter will continue to record energy consumption accurately and can be used in traditional mode, with meter readings taken manually. The meter will not normally need to be replaced. Work is underway to make SMETS1 smart meters interoperable between energy suppliers, through enrolment into the DCC’s system.

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