Consumers are being asked to pay up to £400 to have their smart meter removed, at a time when energy bills are at a record high.
One consumer, Mr. S., asked his electricity supplier, Aeon, to remove his smart electricity meter because he no longer wanted it, thinking the device was of no use to him.
However, after contacting E.ON to have it removed, Mr S was told it would cost £235 to remove the counter, as it was not defective and was a ‘customer’s choice’.
E.ON said an additional £157.86 will be charged for the analog meter installation, bringing the total fee to £392.86.
He said: “I asked for the costs to be apportioned because they seemed unreasonably high.
“The argument that because it’s not faulty and my choice doesn’t seem like the best reason to charge £235, a number was obviously picked out of the blue, bearing in mind that if it wasn’t defective it could be used elsewhere and therefore not a cost.”
“I don’t expect a penalty for professionally disposing of a reusable collection because there is nothing wrong with that.”
You haven’t paid the fee yet because you’re not satisfied with the amount offered and wonder why they’re charging it so often.
E.ON has been contacted but has not provided a comment at the time of publication.
me Major energy providers asked if they would also charge customers to remove smart meters.
Scottish Power said that, in general, it wouldn’t remove it at all.
British Gas said costs are being considered on a case-by-case basis, but it is rare to receive such requests. There may be a cost, he added, but it won’t be in the hundreds of pounds.
EDF, Ovo, and Octopus did not respond to a request for comment at the time of publication.
Smart meters have been promoted as a free and easy way for consumers to save money on their bills by using devices that show households how much they have spent on energy.
Smart Energy GB said that many people should be aware of how a smart meter can help them reduce high energy bills.
A company spokesperson said: “As the cost of living crisis continues and energy bills rise for many, it is imperative that people understand which energy habits have the most impact on their families’ finances.
Fifty per cent of the population already has a smart meter installed at no additional cost from their power supply, a simple step the rest of Britain can take to feel more in control of their energy bills.
“Upgrading to a smart meter is optional, but anyone with questions after they install one should speak to their power supply, who will be in the best position to help.”
However, there was some controversy surrounding the hardware, with many people finding that first-generation counters, also known as SMETS1, became “dumb” after switching providers.
This is one of the reasons why people choose to withdraw their smart meters while others choose to retire if they move to a new property with them already installed, if they prefer an analog device.
The second generation meters, SMETS2 devices, are designed to correct the issue of meters losing functionality, but many providers have not yet installed them and continue to install SMETS1 models, which leads to more problems.
Despite this, energy providers encourage customers to install smart meters because they have goals set by the government.
If they fail to achieve these goals, they can be fined hundreds of thousands of pounds.
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