New licensing conditions for Suppliers means “No Backwards Step” once Smart Meters installed
Conditions will prohibit suppliers from replacing Smart Meters with safer, more secure analogue meters, e.g. when a customer has moved house
Government has now reneged on repeated commitments that Smart Meters would be “voluntary”
Customers may be left with no choice but to use provisions of existing Gas & Electricity Acts to outmanoeuvre stealth restriction on free choice
Early last week, Edward Davey’s Parliamentary Undersecretary, Baroness Verma, made an announcement in the House of Lords that the UK’s Smart Meter programme would be delayed by at least “one year”. The announcement gained much attention and media exposure across the UK, but a crucial component of her announcement was seemingly omitted from all popular reports and commentary.
According to the recordings of the Baroness’s statement in Hansard (the official report of the proceedings in parliament), she revealed a second major shift in Government policy regarding Smart Meters which went unnoticed as admissions regarding delays overtook the media glare.
In a stunning and outrageous Government u-turn, Ministers have decided that from the end of this year, UK energy suppliers will be BLOCKED from fulfilling customer wishes to replace a pre-existing Smart Meter with a more safe and secure analogue alternative. This change will be enforced through modifications to supplier licensing conditions on 14 July 2013, meaning that from the end of the year, if an energy customer moves house and finds one or more Smart Meters in situ, their supplier will not be allowed to offer analogue replacements.
[link to stopsmartmeters.org.uk