Ofgem has issued a final order to Avro Energy meaning that from 26 May the supplier cannot take on any new customers if it is still in breach of its smart meter rollout requirements.
The final order, which was issued on Wednesday (3 April), means the supplier must become a Data Communications Company (DCC) user no later than 25 July this year – Avro must demonstrate that it is a DCC user if it is to avoid the customer ban in May.
This final order follows a proposed order which was issued in early March.
All suppliers were required to become DCC users by 25 November 2017 to help drive the installation of second generation SMETS2 meters.
Ofgem said as Avro had failed to become a DCC user by the deadline, it remained non-compliant meaning there was a risk of customers losing their smart functionality by switching to Avro or existing customers remaining without smart functionality for longer than necessary.
In a written representation Avro argued that the final order was not warranted as it had not sought to avoid compliance.
Instead, it argued, there were “mitigating circumstances”.
Ofgem said Avro offered to voluntarily impose the sales ban on itself if it did not achieve DCC user status before 26 May.
In a second representation, made after it became aware that the date on which SMETS1 meters could be enrolled into the DCC had recently been put back, Avro argued that, because of this delay, the proposed sales ban in the final order should also be put back.
The energy regulator considered Avro’s representations but concluded the final order was justified.
Ofgem said it lacked confidence in Avro’s willingness to engage until the matter was escalated and that it remained unconvinced that it could rely on Avro to take required action without a final order.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) gave the directive for suppliers to become a DCC user on 25 November 2016, with companies being required to do so a year later.
Avro Energy scored 2.75 stars out of five in the most recent Citizens Advice star rating table, which ranks the customer service of energy suppliers.
Avro Energy has been contacted for comment.