15:07 04 October 2017
This means that if you decide to switch gas or electricity provider, you may also need to have a new smart meter.
The smart energy meters are designed to help household save money by allowing users to watch in near-real time how much electricity and gas they are using in their home. They come with handheld devices, which experts believe can help bring savings of about £20 a year by encouraging people to adopt energy-saving habits.
But energy watchdog Ofgem said that customers would save far even more (up to £325 a year) if they switch to suppliers that offer cheaper deals. However, switching to another provider may create a need for a new smart meter.
Retired engineer Brian Russell, 74, who lives in Glasgow, says: ‘It is a ridiculous state of affairs that every year I switch my gas and electricity supplier, yet an engineer must come and fit a new smart meter as the old one is no longer compatible.’
Alex Henney, a former Government adviser on energy privatisation and ex-director of London Electricity, said that the rollout of meters must be suspended until all meters are made compatible with all suppliers.
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