Ed’s note: Has the GB smart meter programme finally turned a satisfaction corner?


Are customer perceptions around meters in the United Kingdom changing? Do recent satisfaction rating signal a longer-term change?

A few weeks ago, Ofgem and the Citizen’s Advice Bureau released a new quarterly report on consumer perceptions in the energy market.

The results of this report cover the period August to September 2020 and show that increasingly, consumers are happy with their smart meters (71% vs 67% Q2 2020) and the smart meter installation process (80% vs 72% in Q2 2020).

Interestingly enough and perhaps most telling – the satisfaction numbers among those with smart meters generally is higher than consumers without – both in terms of their perceived service levels (71% vs 74%) and their satisfaction with the supplier generally (76% vs 75%).

The challenges of the GB smart meter programme have been well documented but have they finally turned a corner and started gaining some positive momentum?

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Have you seen an increase in overall customer satisfaction with levels of service since the installation of smart meters?  To what do you attribute the increased levels of satisfaction?

In the case of the GB programme, it would appear too that more queries are being handled via online chats and social media – speaking perhaps to a need for more immediacy in responses and (almost) real-time communication. Currently, on 13% of those surveyed used the telephone as a means of getting in touch with their service providers. Interestingly enough most of the reasons for getting in touch with suppliers appeared to be to provide a meter reading – and my assumption, in this case, is that these are of consumers without smart meters.

PS: We are writing a number of insight pieces for our next edition about the Biden administration and its possible influence on energy policy in the US. We are particularly interested in hearing from readers who don’t believe that this administration will bring positive change to US energy policy as part of our coverage. If you would like to comment or provide fact-based insights, please contact us.

We have spoken a number of times on our various channels about the challenges being faced by suppliers in determining and showing the value of smart meters to consumers. Do you think we have reached a point whereby consumers have become more accustomed to these meters and are therefore starting to appreciate that while direct money savings may not be as high as originally anticipated, they are saving significantly when it comes to time spent trying to deal with their energy supplier?

As always, your input is valued and appreciated. Feel free to write to us at editorial@smart-energy.com to share your thoughts, or comment on our LinkedIn post.

Wishing you a satisfying week

Until next time,