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Old 11-02-2013, 03:23 PM   #38
coco the clown
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 236
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Spoke with my NETWORK provider (SSE)
who told me that they own the supply into the property,
But they do not own the meters.
They can only provide wholesale,
and cannot supply gas or electric direct to consumers.

Nor can they provide meters for consumers.
They told me the meters are installed and owned by the SUPPLIERS,
with each supplier separately responsible for installing SMART meters.

Their understanding was that the smart meters were not mandatory,
but SUPPLIERS had until 2019 to complete their installation. (?)
He suggested speaking to my SUPPLIER for more info.

Called British Gas, my SUPPLIER for both gas and electric services.
They confirmed that smart meters aren’t mandatory yet,
but said it will be in 2019.
He told me that in 2019, I will receive a letter telling me that I will have to install one.
He couldn’t quote the law that specified this,
but was insistent that was the case, and he referred me to the website for more info.

Can’t see anything on the website that quotes any law, or refers to 2019, as being mandatory.

It simply states:
If you don’t want to have a smart meter installed yet,
just tell us.
(my bold)

This is the 3 December 2012 House of Commons Library note on Smart Meters;

Page 8
The Government will place regulatory obligations on energy suppliers to “take all reasonable steps” to install smart meters for all their domestic and smaller non-domestic customers, including in rural areas, by 31 December 2019. However, it recognises that there “may be some circumstances where it would not be practical to install a smart meter”. Also: 31
We have made it clear that we do not expect suppliers to seek an entry warrant simply to fit a smart meter and it will not be an offence for householders to refuse to accept a smart meter.

A further question was asked in March 2012 by Bill Esterson MP: 32
Charles Hendry: Smart meters will be rolled out as standard across the country by 2019, but it will not be a legal obligation on individuals to have one.

The roll-out of smart meters is an important national modernisation programme, which will bring big benefits to consumers, as well as the nation. We therefore expect consumers to welcome their installation.
British Gas has also confirmed that although it is now installing smart meters where possible now, it is company policy to offer customers the ability not to have a smart meter.

(My bold above)

British Gas is clearly interpreting this as being that they are legally charged to ensure that Smart Meters are fitted to all their customers by 2019, but until then, opt out is fine.

And the above HoC Note is ambiguous - it appears not to be mandatory for the consumer, but is mandatory for the supplier?

The only exception for non completion by 2019 for the supplier appears to be; “there may be some circumstances where it would not be practical to install a smart meter”.

This will be a tough battle.
coco the clown is offline   Reply With Quote