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Nearly four million households risk overpaying on energy bills due to faulty smart meters

Homes across the UK are encouraged to use smart meters to cut down on energy bills  (Smart Energy GB/Simon Jacobs/PA)
Homes across the UK are encouraged to use smart meters to cut down on energy bills (Smart Energy GB/Simon Jacobs/PA)

Nearly four million homes across Britain risk overpaying on their energy bills due to faulty smart meters, new government figures reveal.

Data released by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) shows a concerning rise in smart meters not working as they should.

4.31 million meters were not functioning in smart mode from June 2023, this fell to 3.98 million by the end of last year, figures show.

The figure was previously thought to be considerably less, with 2.7 million reporting faults as of June 2023, but the number was revised citing data errors from some suppliers.

What is a smart meter?

Smart meters enable both users and energy suppliers to track the energy consumption of a home, making it possible to more easily understand when a home uses more energy and how it could become more efficient, and potentially highlight where a household could switch to a cheaper tariff based on their usage.

Consumer’s gas and electricity real time data is sent to energy suppliers so they can be informed how much energy they are using and what they are paying.

Meters that are not connected properly can lead to customers overpaying on their bills since customers pay an estimated bill, instead of one based off their exact usage.

A spokesperson for trade association Energy UK told Sky: A spokesperson said: "Customers should always contact their supplier if they are experiencing issues - there can be a range of potential fixes so these are best addressed on a case-by-case basis.

"It is of course important that figures correctly represent the current situation and we continue to work with suppliers and other partners in the programme to further improve the customer experience for smart households."