Skip to main content

Energy: Meters

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN 40568, tabled on 18 August 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the report by the National Energy Action and Energy Action Scotland, entitled Maximising the smart meter rollout for prepayment customers, published in June 2021, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of the recommendation that the rollout of smart meters to prepayment customers should be sped up and prioritised.

Answered on

6 September 2021

Smart meters bring significant benefits to prepayment consumers and have been invaluable during the COVID-19 pandemic. Smart prepayment services enable consumers to top-up remotely without leaving home and without needing to reach inaccessible meters. They also allow consumers to track their balance easily so they do not unknowingly run out of credit. The Government welcomes the insights in the ‘Maximising the smart meter rollout for prepayment customers’ report and are pleased to see that it recognises the transformative experience that smart meters deliver to prepayment customers.

The rollout of smart prepayment meters continues to make good progress, and energy suppliers are installing second generation smart (SMETS2) meters in prepayment mode across Great Britain. The Government has taken a number of steps to ensure that consumers with prepayment meters can benefit from smart meters including, for example, putting in place an explicit objective for Smart Energy GB – the industry body responsible for leading national coordinated consumer engagement – to assist consumers with low incomes or prepayment meters.

The Government and Ofgem have been clear that we expect energy suppliers to ensure that their prepayment customers are able to receive smart meters as soon as practicable. We welcome recent commitments by energy suppliers covering over 90% of customers to support customers over winter, including stepping up smart meter installations for prepayment customers.

Named day
Named day questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.