Energy suppliers face rising costs for putting smart meters in millions of homes, adding pressure on firms to raise household bills further next year. Fitting the meters, which automate readings and must be installed in every home and small business by the end of 2020, costs suppliers about £100 per household today. But that will jump by nearly a third to £130 in 2018 as companies spend more time and money trying to contact harder-to-reach customers, according to one of the big six suppliers. However, the entire cost is not expected to be passed on to consumers. When five of the big six did increase their tariffs in the first four months, several blamed smart meters. ScottishPower said smart meters accounted for £10 of the £86 bill increase for millions of its customers. A source at one energy supplier, who did not want to be named, said the higher cost related to smart meters was due to “customer apathy, concerns and the difficulty in getting people to agree to have a meter fitted”. Staff were having to contact more people, more times, to achieve successful installs, they said. Householders typically need to take a day off to be at home over a four-hour period for an engineer to swap in a smart gas and electricity meter.
Guardian 26th June 2017 read more »