Smart meters turn 'dumb' when you switch suppliers, research claims

Energy suppliers are constantly trying to get their customers to upgrade to so-called ‘smart meters’ with the promise of automatic readings and more accurate bills.

But it turns out they might not be such a good idea after all.

A report from the consumer group Which? revealed that huge numbers of people are seeing their smart meters turn ‘dumb’ after swapping providers.

The website claims that 19% of people found their smart meter stopped working when they switched. A further 29% said both the smart meter and in-home display stopped working as well. So, in total, 48% of people surveyed (the total was 2,910) who switched found their internet-connected gadgets were affected.

‘If your smart meter loses its smart functions, it will stop sending your gas and electricity meter readings to your energy provider automatically,’ explained Which?

‘You’ll stop getting real-time data on your energy use and, because it’s operating in ‘dumb’ mode, you won’t be able to access smart meter tariffs or get insight into your energy use.’

According to the National Audit Office (NAO), there are around 943,000 smart meters in dumb mode around the UK.

The government is trying to transition all homes to smart meters and has promised that outstanding issues will be fixed by the end of 2020, when the roll-out is complete.

The industry regulator Ofgem is responsible for making sure you’re protected, if you want to know about your rights when it comes to smart meters, it has published some handy information here.

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