Tailored services will help consumers see smart meter benefits

Energy suppliers should consider how they can tailor their aftercare services to help consumers realise the benefits of smart meters, says Citizens Advice.

The consumer group has suggested that suppliers introduce a dedicated phoneline or planned periodic follow-up checks for customers after they have had a smart meter installed.

Speaking at a research launch event, Citizens Advice director of energy Victoria MacGregor said that technology and innovation, including smart meters, have a vital role to play in the energy market but warned that it must be “steered”.

“If energy policymakers aspire to a market that works for consumers, as opposed to a market that makes consumers work, innovation does have to be nurtured and encouraged but also steered and guided.

“In that way, enthusiastic consumers can benefit from new technologies and opportunities quickly without leaving the less well-off and disengaged too far behind,” MacGregor said.

Earlier this year, Citizens Advice Scotland called on the UK government to delay the final deadline for completion of the smart meter rollout by five years. The current rollout aims to have offered every household a smart meter by 2020, despite several delays to the smart meter network operator going live.