Third of smart meter owners report problems with devices, according to poll

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12th September 2019 12:20 - Utilities

Third of smart meter owners report problems with devices: A survey has revealed that one in three households who have a smart meter fitted have had problems with their device.

The research by USwitch surveyed UK households and found people had experienced a range of issues since having a smart meter fitted. 

Problems ranged from issues with the display not working properly (39%) while 13% said that their device stopped working altogether. Almost a third (32%) reported issues when switching energy provider, rendering their device ‘dumb’. 

Despite the Government and Ofgem saying that only second generation SMETS1 meters should be installed after March this year, the research claims a fifth of respondents (20%) reported they had been offered a first generation model. Newer SMETS2 models are not supposed to be affected in the event of a supplier change, however, a third  of households with the most current device reported issues since they were installed (33%). 

Benefits noticed since 2018

A fifth of respondents said that their supplier made them feel ‘pressured’ to have a smart meter fitted, however this is a fall from 30% in 2018. One in twenty respondents said that their supplier attempted to fit a meter without asking their permission, although this too was down from down from 11% last year.  

Asked about the information they were given prior to meter installation, more than half the households polled (53%) said they don’t feel the benefits were explained fully by their energy supplier. 

After having a device installed, however, almost a third (29%) said they have noticed a fall in their energy costs, with the customer saving on average around £108 per year. This is up considerably since 2018 when just 16% said the same. 

More than two thirds of those polled said having their meter has enabled them to reduce their energy bills. Turning lights off when they leave a room was one of the ways households have been able to save money (38%) as well as washing clothes at a lower temperature (22%). These are both down on 2018 figures when they were 33% and 18% respectively. 

Robert Cheesewright, of Smart Energy GB, said: “As more and more smart meters are installed, we are all playing a part to upgrade and decarbonise our outdated energy system.”

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