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British Gas fined £4.5 million over business ‘advanced meter’ failures

British Gas Business installed circa 42,000 of 155,000 smart electricity meters required by the industry during the period. Image: British Gas.

British Gas Business installed circa 42,000 of 155,000 smart electricity meters required by the industry during the period. Image: British Gas.

British Gas Business has been fined £4.5 million for failing to fit 'advanced meters' for some of its larger business customers in time.

The business electricity supply arm of British gas failed to fit some meters by the April 2014 deadline, five years after the government launched its meter roll-out scheme.

An investigation found that the supplier did not take “all reasonable steps” to fulfil its commitments as it was legally required to do so.

As a result, some business customers were left without an advanced meter at the end of the roll-out which Ofgem said prevented them from receiving better information about their energy consumption.

The investigation also found that British Gas Business installed a number of traditional meters instead of advanced alternatives.

The company has however made further progress with the meter roll-out since the cut-off point and has also agreed to increased monitoring of its progress.

The £4.5 million fine will be payable to the Carbon Trust, which will use the proceeds to help UK businesses conduct energy audits, seek advice and install energy efficiency measures.

Martin Crouch, senior partner with responsibility for enforcement at Ofgem, said the fine sent a “clear message” to the industry over the smart meter roll-out.

“Smart meters are being rolled out to smaller non-domestic customers and suppliers must learn their lesson ahead of delivering this programme,” he added.