Smart meter woes continue in UK

New research suggests the number of people having issues totals around four million, with just over a year to go until the installation deadline. Jonny Bairstow explains in an article on the Energy Live News website.


‘More than a third of smart meter users report having problems’

More than a third of households that have had smart meters installed have reported having problems.

That’s according to new data from uSwitch, which suggests the number of people having issues totals around four million, despite the installation deadline being just over a year away and the rollout needing to accelerate.

The study notes 39% of the issues relate to smart displays not working, while 32% of those who reported problems said devices went ‘dumb’ after switching and 13% said their meters ceased functioning entirely.

A third of households with second generation “SMETS2” meters have also encountered issues since they were installed, despite these newer models not being expected to experience technical problems.

uSwitch also claims a fifth of smart meter owners say they have been offered a first generation smart meter device (SMETS1) since March, despite suppliers being committed to installing only SMETS2 meters since this date.

More than half of smart meter owners say they are still unsure about their benefits and more than a fifth report feeling pressured by their supplier into installing one of the devices, although the amount of consumers who feel this way are decreasing each year.

More positively, 29% of homes say their smart meter has helped cut energy bills, while two-thirds say their device has made them more aware of how much energy they use.

Rik Smith, Energy Expert at uSwitch, said: “While it’s great to see smart meters improving energy habits and helping consumers to save on their bills, there are still far too many issues with the rollout which are damaging consumer confidence in the whole scheme.

“There is a real opportunity to build more confidence in smart meters now, if households are given the right information to make the most of their new device and if they’re only offered a second generation meter which shouldn’t go dumb if they switch supplier.”

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