Households are routinely being told they must pay to have faulty or broken smart meters replaced — despite energy providers promising the devices would help them save money.
In some cases, they are being quoted £50 just to replace the display unit that shows how much gas and electricity they are consuming in pounds and pence.
Money Mail’s postbag has been flooded with letters from scores of readers who, try as they may, simply cannot persuade their energy supplier to fix faulty smart meters.
Millions of the devices have now been rolled out to homes across the country. But 3.2 million homes have smart meters that don’t function as they should, with some left in limbo for months, with no way of knowing how much gas and electricity they are using — until a bill lands.
We have now sent a dossier of more than 50 complaints to regulator Ofgem and Smart Energy GB — the organisation behind the meter rollout.
Ofgem says suppliers must replace faulty meters free of charge if they break within 12 months — after that, the energy watchdog says suppliers are free to decide any charges.
Andy Cameron, 71, was told by British Gas he would have to cover the cost of a replacement display unit after it stopped working in January. British Gas did not specify how much this would be.
The father-of-two first got a smart meter just 18 months ago when energy prices started to soar.
But after a year of it functioning correctly, he began receiving texts and emails saying his smart meter was not sending signals or readings to British Gas.
When he contacted his supplier, the former procurement officer, who lives in Fife, Scotland, with his wife Anne, was told there was a six-month wait for repairs.
Read More: Now energy companies make you pay to have your faulty smart meter repaired: Customers left in the dark as devices go dumb