British Gas and five other energy giants fined total of £10.8m by Ofgem

Six major energy suppliers are to pay out £10.8million to vulnerable households after missing targets to install smart meters.

The six culprits are British Gas, Ovo, Bulb, E.ON, Scottish Power and SSE, who missed their 2022 target for installations by 1.03 million smart meters.

The firms will pay the funds into Ofgem’s fund which supports vulnerable households.

British Gas is to pay the most, at £3.4 million, followed by Ovo at £2.4 million and Bulb at £1.8 million.

Now the payouts have been agreed, Ofgem has decided it will not carry out a further probe into why the suppliers missed their targets.

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Cathryn Scott, director of enforcement and emerging issues at Ofgem, said: “The installation of smart meters is a vital step in the modernisation of our energy system and the path to net zero by 2050.

“Smart meters give customers better information about their energy usage helping them budget and control their costs.”

A recent Government report found that as at March 2023, only 57 percent of energy meters in the UK were smart meters, with around 32.4 million smart meters in place.

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The amount of smart meters installed varies across the UK with installation rates at just 43 percent in London, with concerns this may be partly due to issues setting them up in blocks of flats.

The area with the lowest rate is the Isles of Scilly, at five percent, while Chesterfield has the highest at 69 percent.

Remote areas such such a the Highlands have lower coverage as do some rural areas such as the Cotswolds.

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A recent poll of people who rent their homes found 14 percent of respondents had not been offered a smart meter.

The study also found one in six respondents did not know they can decline to have a smart meter installed.

Over three quarters of the renters said they had never asked their landlord to have one installed with 16 percent not wanting to bother them with the request.

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