Npower pays £2.4m penalty for advanced meter failures


Npower faces a £2.4m penalty for failing to meet the deadline to install advanced meters at business customer sites, and for installing standard meters at some sites when it should have installed advanced ones.

Ofgem said the fine should serve as a warning to suppliers as the 2020 smart meter deadline approaches.

The fine is less than the £3.7m Ofgem wanted to impose, but Npower successfully challenged the regulator’s original decision.

Suppliers had to ‘take all reasonable steps’ to rollout advanced meters to large business customer sites by April 2014. Npower installed 15,200 by that deadline, of 22,400 meter points requiring advanced meters.

Of the remaining 7,200, Ofgem found Npower had not taken all reasonable steps to install advanced meters at 4,000 sites. The regulator said it had also installed traditional meters at around 200 sites, breaching licence conditions.

Ofgem said Npower left it too late in the roll-out period for its efforts to install advanced meters to be effective. It added that the supplier didn’t make sufficient efforts to engage with customers to resolve installation difficulties in many cases; and didn’t make sufficient efforts to ensure the meters were able to send meter readings.

These definitions of failures of ‘all reasonable efforts’ will serve notice to suppliers ahead of the smart meter rollout.

While households are not obliged to have a smart meter, suppliers are required to make ‘all reasonable efforts’ to offer every customer a smart meter by 2020.

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