GETTY – EDF
EDF customers could be in for huge bills this winter, reports have warned
If your home has a smart meter, you could be in for a major energy bill fairly soon.
A new investigation has found that smart meters for one of the UK’s leading energy firms are failing to properly record power usage.
This fault could land users with huge bills in the coming months as the reliability of the new smart meters is once again called into question.
EDF has around five million customers in the UK
EDF has around five million business and consumer accounts in the UK.
The issue has reportedly been caused by a faulty firmware rolled out by EDF to its smart meters last November.
This affects how the smart meter communicates with its paired electricity meter, which is able to tell EDF exactly how much energy has been used so that they can calculate the customer’s bill.
EDF says that a “lot” of customers with smart meters will have been affected by the issue, and has confirmed that it is looking into the problem.
But it added that customers had been warned at the time that errors could be displayed on their meters, but that it would not affect their bills.
The company said that around 85,000 EDF customers were updated with the November firmware update, and that only one per cent had encountered any issues.
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However some customers reported that they had not been informed of any problems, with unusual credit and debit balances appearing in some accounts.
Smart meters are due to be rolled out to all UK homes by 2020
EDF told The Inquirer, "We are aware that in some rare cases the meters no longer communicate with our systems.”
“We are in the process of identifying whether there are additional actions we can take to fix this issue, and will ensure that all efforts will be taken to ensure the smart meters work as they should.”
“This may include replacing the smart meter if necessary."
The company added that it was the responsibility of the customer to ensure that payment amounts are correct, and that they should continue to take meter readings themselves instead of completely relying on the smart meter itself.
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Smart meters are proving to be something of a flashpoint in the UK as the devices have become an increasingly common sight across the country.
Government legislation revealed in 2015 means that all homes in the UK will be equipped with a smart meter by 2020.
However the responsibility for this rollout relies on the energy companies themselves, as well as educating customers as to the benefits of the meters.
The security of smart meters was also called into question recently, with GCHQ needing to step in last March following an investigation which found many lacked proper protection against hackers targeting IoT devices.