Any early meters now installed by suppliers will not count towards regulator-mandated targets meaning firms risk fines by continuing to install them. Last year EDF was fined £350,000 for failing to install enough smart meters in its customer’s homes.
Rob Cheesewright of Smart Energy GB, the body tasked with promoting the rollout, said consumers should make sure to ask whether their new meter will be second generation.
He added: “There are already more than half a million second generation meters now operating, enabling customers to switch suppliers seamlessly without losing functionality and ending manual meter readings.
“Energy suppliers are experiencing some challenges with meter availability currently, but these will be resolved in the coming year.”
Bill Bullen, of Utilita, a smaller energy firm, said there were still numerous problems with the new type of meters which make them inferior to the first generation. “They say Smets 2 is more advanced than Smets 1. That is simply not the case,” he added.
A spokesman for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said: “Suppliers should now be focusing their efforts on ramping up installations of second-generation smart meters.”