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Smart meter guidelines launched

Standards will govern the installation and use of data from smart meters

New rules and guidance protecting customers who get a smart meter installed have been launched today. The Smart Meter Installation Code of Practice and Smart Meter Data Guide are two significant measures that will build customer confidence during the smart metering roll out between now and 2020.

The Smart Metering Installation Code of Practice (SMICoP) specifies the minimum standards that energy suppliers have to follow when installing smart meters in their customers’ homes. The code’s aims are for the installation experience to be positive, to ensure customers are protected, and to make sure that customers are clear as to what will happen during the installation process. The code stipulates that smart meter installers are to offer customers energy efficiency advice and also bans sales activity being conducted during the installation.

Smart meters can collect energy consumption information, which customers can use to learn more about their energy use. The Data Guide, which is being launched alongside the SMICoP, outlines the key information customers need to know about their rights and choices when they get a smart meter installed. In particular, it outlines what data will be collected by energy suppliers, and the choices that consumers have about the amount of information their energy supplier can collect and how the information can be used.

Both documents have been the result of work from Energy UK, its members, Consumer Futures, and a number of other stakeholders who have contributed to their development.

Lawrence Slade, Chief Operating Officer, Energy UK, said: “The guidelines launched today are designed to ensure customers have a positive experience when their smart meters are installed. The rules are there to contribute to a smooth and successful roll-out of smart meters across the country.

The commitment of “no sales at the installation visit” will also mean that customers do not face any pressure to take out new products or services at the point of installation. They will however be guaranteed to get advice about how to use less energy in the home, which will be very welcome.”

For more information:

Data Guide:

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“Energy companies spend around £300 million every year helping two million fuel poor and vulnerable households, often going above and beyond their regulated obligations. This includes taking £135 off the bills of the poorest pensioners and running trust funds for those most in need. Suppliers also run Priority Services Registers offering additional free services for customers who are elderly, sick or disabled including password schemes for home visits, and quarterly meter reads.

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Energy UK comments on Ofgem's Retail Market Review announcement

In response to Ofgem's Retail Market Review annoncement, Energy UK said:

“Energy suppliers have already pressed ahead with providing customers with simpler, clearer tariffs. Our members have dramatically reduced the number of tariffs, simplified structures and pledged to help all customers move to the deal that suits them best.

Energy UK supports the thrust of Ofgem’s proposals. It has taken a lot of work to get to this stage. The new rules contain a lot of detail and have only just been finalised but the industry is committed to implementing changes as quickly as we can.

These are major changes to the market. The reforms need to be allowed to bed in, with a period of stability for consumers. The impact should also be monitored closely so we can learn for the future.”


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Baroness McDonagh appointed Chairman of Central Delivery Body

Baroness Margaret McDonagh has been appointed as Chairman of a new organisation, the Central Delivery Body, which is to deliver consumer engagement during the smart meter roll-out.  

She will join the Board of the Body alongside representatives from energy suppliers, consumer groups and other independent interests.

Commenting on her appointment, Baroness McDonagh said:

“Smart meters can transform how people think about energy in the home. This new organisation will be key in engaging customers, informing them about their meters and allowing greater involvement with and control over their own energy consumption."

"I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to play a part in this by taking on the Chairman role and look forward to seeing the organisation grow and flourish. The real work now begins and I look forward to working with staff, the Board and other stakeholders to make the consumer engagement around the roll-out a success.”

Energy Minister, Baroness Verma, said:

“I am delighted to hear that Baroness McDonagh has been appointed as Independent Chair of the Smart Meters Central Delivery Body. This is an important role that will be crucial in securing public understanding of smart meters, and in helping people use them to better manage their energy use.

“Baroness McDonagh brings to the role a wealth of experience in leading both public and private organisations. As such, she will be well equipped to chair this important Body.

“I very much look forward to working with her in the lead up to, and during, the roll-out of smart meters across Great Britain.”

Angela Knight CBE, Chief Executive of Energy UK, said:

“The process of setting up the Central Delivery Body has been an extremely interesting one for Energy UK and we are delighted to have found someone as suitable for this role as Baroness McDonagh. We look forward to seeing the new organisation operating on its own two feet and, in time, start educating customers about the benefits of smart meters.”

Biographical note

Margaret McDonagh was elevated to the House of Lords as Baroness McDonagh in 2004.  Her previous campaigning experience will provide insight into consumer engagement which will be vital for the success of smart metering. She has been a senior organiser and has chaired multiple complex committees. She has wide commercial experience including several years as a Non-Executive Director at Standard Life Plc and TBI. Previously she was General Secretary of the Labour Party.

Note to editors

The Central Delivery Body has been set up by Energy UK after major energy suppliers were required by Government to set up a body to provide centralised consumer engagement for the roll-out of smart meters, which is to be completed by 2020. The organisation will formally come into existence on 30th June 2013.

The organisation’s aims reflect Government strategy around the roll-out of smart meters. Specifically, it will:

  • Build consumer confidence in the installation of smart meters
  • Build consumer awareness and understanding of how to use smart meters and the information obtained from them
  • Increase consumer willingness to use smart meters to reduce their energy consumption
  • Assist less well-off or otherwise vulnerable consumers to realise the benefits of smart metering and meet their other energy needs


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