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E.ON to pay £7M over smart meter failure

Energy giant E.ON has been ordered by Ofgem to pay £7M for its failure to deliver advanced electricity meters to business companies.

Ofgem described the failure as “unacceptable” and has set the energy provider a new deadline and further failure could result in another £7M pay out to the Carbon Trust and a potential sales ban.

E.ON had been given a target in 2009 of providing around 200,000 business customers with the new smart meters but managed to complete only 64.4% of its roll-out.

Ofgem Senior Partner, Anthony Pygram, said: “It is unacceptable that E.ON failed to roll out advanced meters to these business customers on time.

“Customers have lost out on receiving better information about their energy consumption and the opportunity to control costs. Unless E.ON improves their poor record, they will have to pay out even more and may face a sales ban.

“The rollout of advanced meters has the potential to transform the energy market. We expect all suppliers to learn the lessons from this ahead of the domestic smart-meter rollout, in particular the need to start the process in good time and ensure senior managers are committed to delivering on time.”

An E.ON spokesman said in response: “Installing advanced meters to tens of thousands of business customers across the country was always going to be a significant challenge and one that threw up a variety of hurdles for suppliers to overcome.

“That said, we cannot, and will not, overlook the fact that we did not do enough in time to meet the deadline and in that regard failed to provide the efficient service our business customers demand and deserve.”

The government is expecting energy suppliers to fit more than 26 million households across England, Wales and Scotland with smart meters by 2020.