Response to Smart EnergyGB on their non-domestic strategy
Citizens Advice supports the rollout of smart meters to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and micro-businesses. As for the domestic sector , we see clear social and economic value in accurate billing and the anticipated demand reduction, but recognise that the non-domestic sector has distinct challenges and needs, not least in terms of the credible desire and potential for savings.
Unless the interest of consumers drives the smart meter programme, SME consumers will face the costs, but be at risk of not enjoying the potential benefits. Citizens Advice has been raising, and will continue to raise, their interest directly with governments, regulators and market players. We also note that this is an of energy policy where we are attempting to ensure that SMEs are neither ignored nor given differential treatment unless it can be clearly justified. In the case of the latter we have long had concerns regarding the ability to opt-out of the DCC, most especially in terms of negative potential impacts on interoperability.
Our priorities therefore are to ensure that there are adequate procedures in place and an understanding of businesses’ needs to ensure the rollout achieves its aim of a sustained demand reduction.