Npower fined £2.4 mln over smart meter deadline

Ofgem has fined Npower Ltd. 2.4 million pounds ($3.1 million) for failing to install advanced meters for some of its electricity business customers by an April 2014 deadline, the U.K. energy regulator said Thursday.

Britain’s Office of Gas & Electricity Markets, or Ofgem, said some of Npower’s customers missed out on the opportunity to receive better information about their energy consumption and control costs.

Ofgem said Npower missed its deadline to supply business customers through advanced-electricity meters at nearly 4,000 meter points, and the company installed around 200 traditional meters when it was required to install advanced versions.

Ofgem said Npower had five years to install the advanced meters for its larger nondomestic customers and had about 22,400 meter points at which it needed to install such meters by April 2014. Npower installed advanced meters at 15,200 of these points.

Rob Salter-Church, Ofgem interim executive director for consumers and markets, said there were "systemic failings by Npower which led to the serious failure of not meeting the deadline" and that energy suppliers "must learn their lesson to make sure mistakes like this are not repeated in the roll-out of smart meters."

Npower is owned by German utility company RWE AG (RWE.XE).

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