According to the latest update on the rollout of smart meters from the House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts, there are currently around three million smart meters that aren’t functioning properly. That’s 9% of the total number of smart meters that have been installed to date, that are either not sending energy use information to suppliers or not displaying usage to consumers, or both. As a result, energy suppliers are being asked to take “all reasonable steps” to replace smart meters that are not communicating.
What’s smart about smart meters?
When fully functioning, a smart meter measures how much gas and electricity a household uses and shows how much it costs in near real time on its display. The meter readings are sent via a remote connection to the home’s energy supplier. By giving people a better understanding of their energy use, smart meters should be able to save households a lot of money each year. However, if they aren’t working properly or they lose connection to the national network Data Communications Company, or local networks, customers can be forced to rely on estimated bills.
Why are non-functioning smart meters such a problem?
Customers with non-functioning smart meters are being given estimated bills and that means they are likely to be charged the wrong amount for their energy. Without a proper understanding of their energy use and its costs, customers may be having to guess their usage and be avoiding using appliances in an attempt not to run up high bills. Whilst incorrect bills should be corrected once the supplier has manual meter readings, some customers are complaining they have paid too much, which has caused them financial strife, and others have struggled to get their money back.
When it comes to non-functioning smart meters, the biggest problem is, a lot of customers don’t know that their smart meter isn’t working properly, or that’s there is a problem and their bills are being estimated. Other customers are complaining that whilst they are aware that there’s a problem, they are struggling to get their supplier to fix their smart meter.
Another problem with faulty smart meters is that customers aren’t able to take advantage of electric vehicle (EV), solar energy tariffs or the demand flexibility service (DFS), which are only offered to those households with working smart meters.
What’s the solution?
We can help alleviate the problem of disgruntled customers with proactive customer engagement. As part of the Calisen Group, we can:
- Let customers that might not be aware there’s problem with their smart meter know that there’s a fault. We can also let those customers know that they currently need to provide manual meter readings if they want more accurate bills.
- Engage and communicate with customers that have faulty smart meters to let them know what’s being done to fix the problem.
How do we do this? Calisen has all the data relating to smart meters that aren’t working. We can use that data or we can take the data from you, as an energy supplier, directly. Then, using our platform and customer engagement tools, we can communicate, through appropriate channels directly and personally with each customer.
Introducing Calisen Smart 360
Smart 360 is a new service from Calisen that is designed not only to fix and maintain smart meters, but also extend their life span. With its nationwide trained team of experts, Calisen is perfectly positioned to attend to any smart meters that are not functioning properly. The engineers will ascertain the problem and, where possible fix it – whether that’s carrying out commissioning steps or rebooting the communications hub. They can also take a look at any smart meters that have had to be removed and triage them, to identify those that can be reinstalled, those that are damaged and should be recycled or those that can be returned to the manufacturer as a warranty claim.
If you’re interested in Calisen’s Smart 360 service to help fix your faulty smart meters, or our customer engagement solutions to help communicate with customers that have a faulty smart meter, then get in touch today. We’d love to help get the UK’s smart meters all functioning properly so that customers can benefit for the cost savings they deserve.