Section A

The Code of Practice

 1.0 Scope of the Code

 1.1 In Scope

The Smart Metering Installation Code of Practice specifies the minimum standards for Members to follow in relation to the Customer facing aspects of the installation of Smart Metering Systems.   

A Member (as that term is defined in the Code) is one that –

(a)proposes or purports to meet the obligations imposed on it under Standard Licence Condition 41 and/or 42 of its Electricity Supply Licence and/or Standard Licence Condition 35 and/or 36 of its Gas Supply Licence through its compliance with the Code;

(b)at any given time supplies either gas or electricity (or both) to more than 50,000 customers (being Domestic Customers and/or Micro Business Customers); and

(c)is not a member of the Company,

must, by not later than 30 working days after the date on which it first satisfies the circumstances specified in paragraph (b), have made an application (pursuant to and in accordance with the Articles of Association) to become a member of the Company.

For the avoidance of doubt, where the Code uses the term ‘member of the Company’, the meaning given to the word ‘member’ in that term has the same meaning as given to “Member” in the Articles of Association (and not the term Member as defined in the Code).

The aim of the Code is for the Customer experience of the installation process to be positive, to protect Customers during the process, for Customers to be given appropriate assurances over what will take place during the installation process, and to deliver Programme benefits, including long term behavioural changes.

The Code covers those Smart Metering Systems, for both electricity and gas. The Code is applied on a voluntary basis for Smart Metering Systems not installed under licence obligations.

The Code is applicable to all Domestic and Micro Business Suppliers except where the Code is explicit that the conditions apply to one or other.

The Code describes specific activities in the period running up to an Installation Visit, the installation itself, and the period from the Installation Visit to the Customer receiving the first bill using smart meter data for meters in credit mode, or the first vend for meters in prepayment mode.

The Code is intended to cover the first gas and/or electricity Smart Metering System installed under licence obligation. The pertinent clauses will be applied for subsequent Smart Metering System installations.

 1.2 Not in Scope

The Code is not a technical document; the technical elements of Installation are covered under the existing MAMCoP, MOCoPA® and AMICoP, together with industry standards (such as BS 6400 1-3, BS7671). The Code does not seek to replicate existing codes of practice, licence conditions and legislation but references these as appropriate.

It does not cover “business as usual” activities such as on-going billing and revenue collection.

The Code does not cover the Installation of replacement Smart Metering Systems, but where relevant, could be applied on a voluntary basis.

The Installation of Smart Meters for emergency reasons is not in scope, e.g. damaged meters, unsafe meters, faulty or failed meters. If the Smart Metering System installed in these circumstances is the first for that site, there will be follow up activity by the Member.

The Installation of a Smart Metering System by a metering agent appointed directly by the Customer is not in scope, but all metering agents are encouraged to operate in line with the Code on a voluntary basis.

The Code does not address issues around change of tenancy as these do not relate to a specific Installation event. Members will adopt their own strategies for engaging with Customers upon a change of tenancy where a Smart Metering System has already been installed.

Data privacy and security are not in scope of the Code as these are covered under existing data protection legislation.

 1.3 Third Parties

Where a Member contracts with a third party for the provision of installation services, the Member is responsible for ensuring compliance with all components of the Code.

Where is no difference in the standards and requirements applied to contracted third parties and their employees from those applied to a Member and its employees.

 1.4 Code Structure

The Code is divided into the three phases of the end to end process; Pre-Installation, Installation and Post Installation.

 2.0 Pre-Installation

The relevant regulations and accreditation listed should not be taken as an exhaustive list.

 2.1 Relevant Legislation an Regulation

Clauses contained within this section may reference both the “Electricity Act 1989, Standard conditions of electricity supply licence” and the “Gas Act 1986, Standard conditions of gas and supply licence”. These will be denoted by Electricity SLC or Gas SLC1

2.1.1Arrangements for Site Access, Electricity and Gas SLC 13

2.1.2Licensee to publish the Code on its website;

2.1.2.1Domestic: Electricity SLC 41.20(b) and Gas SLC 35.20(b)

2.1.2.2Micro Business: Electricity SLC 42.14(b) and Gas SLC 36.14(b)

2.1.3Licensee to give a copy of the Code to any person that requests it;

2.1.3.1Domestic: Electricity SLC 41.21 and Gas SLC 35.21

2.1.3.2Micro Business: Electricity SLC 42.15 and Gas SLC 36.15

2.1.4Marketing electricity or gas to Domestic Customers, Electricity and Gas SLC 25

2.1.5Services for specific Domestic Customer Groups, Electricity and Gas SLC26

2.1.6General Information for Domestic Customers, Electricity and Gas SLC31

2.1.7Guaranteed Standards of Performance2

2.1.8Advertising Standards Agency’s Code of Conduct

2.1.9Legislation concerning data protection and privacy, including the Data Protection Act 1998 and EU Regulation 2016/679 (known as the General Data Protection Regulation).

 2.2 Relevant Accreditation

2.2.1National Skills Academy for Power

2.2.2Registration with Gas Safe Register (for the appropriate meter work categories)

2.2.3QCF and ACS Gas Qualifications

2.2.4Energy Efficiency Schemes – City & Guilds / NVQs, or equivalent

2.2.5Meter Asset Manager’s Code of Practice (MAMCoP) – Gas

2.2.6ESTA Automated Meter Reading Service Providers Code of Practice (ASPCoP)

2.2.7IGEM Standards

 2.3 Promoting the Code

It is each Member’s responsibility to ensure that;

2.3.1Prior to or during the Installation Visit, all reasonable endeavours should be used to inform the Customer (by whatever means deemed appropriate) that the Member is a signatory to the Code and what this means; and

2.3.2Relevant smart metering related literature states that the Member is a signatory to the Code.

 2.4 Engagement and Customer Awareness

It is each Member’s responsibility to ensure that their communication materials regarding Smart Metering System installations and energy efficiency goods and services;

2.4.1Complement any Programme provided consumer engagement material3;

2.4.2Are clear, concise and drafted in a way that it is reasonably expected that they will be understood by the Customer;

2.4.3Are made available to the Customer in a variety of media and in a format appropriate to or tailored for;

2.4.3.1Groups with specific needs – such as the visually impaired, hearing impaired, and those with low levels of literacy;

2.4.3.2Vulnerable Customers;

2.4.4Alert the Customer to the benefits smart metering can bring, for example, an improved understanding of energy consumption, bills for actual consumption rather than estimated, information and advice about their Smart Metering System and how they can use it to improve their energy efficiency, and the availability and range of energy efficiency goods and services available;

2.4.5Point the Customer to sources from which they may obtain additional and impartial information or assistance about improving the efficiency with which they use the electricity and/or gas supplied to them.

2.4.6Are updated regularly and in a timely way;

In addition;

2.4.7Members should use all reasonable endeavours in communicating with the Customer for whom English is not their first language;

2.4.8All interactions with the Customer in relation to the Installation Visit (verbal or written) should follow the principles as set out in this section and complement the principles of the Code; and

2.4.9All reasonable endeavours should be used to provide the Customer with a copy of the Data Guide or make the Customer aware of the Data Guide commitments prior to the Installation Visit.

 2.5 Recruitment

As an intrinsic part of the recruitment process, it is each Member’s responsibility to ensure that;

2.5.1Only suitable individuals are engaged as Installers;

2.5.2Qualifications and experience are validated;

2.5.3All reasonable endeavours are taken to obtain information about the individual’s previous relevant employment;

2.5.4A 'basic' criminal record (disclosure) check is undertaken, for each new Installer to be recruited, with the public authority that provides such services in respect of the geographical jurisdiction (in Great Britain) in which the Installer is to carry out their role, and that the results of the check are appropriately factored into the recruitment decision;

2.5.5When an Installer leaves their employment, Members must ensure IDs and any other branded materials related to the role are returned to the Member, and if appropriate, duly destroyed.

 2.6 Training and Accreditation

It is each Member’s responsibility to ensure that;

2.6.1Installers receive appropriate training so they are able to deliver the requirements in the Code section 3 Installation Visit;

2.6.2Before being permitted to install Smart Metering Systems, Installers have received training at a level appropriate to the installation (taking into account the knowledge and skills necessary to fulfil the role), including, in the case of installations for Domestic Customers, training and accreditation from a National Skills Academy for Power accredited provider or equivalent training and accreditation.  An exception is installations that are for training purposes that are supervised by an appropriately qualified Installer;

2.6.3Installers engaged to undertake gas meter work are appropriately registered with Gas Safe Register;

2.6.4Installers are competent in addressing Customer queries and/or can refer them to an appropriate contact;

2.6.5Installers are trained and competent to provide Energy Efficiency Guidance that is appropriate to the Customer’s needs;

2.6.6Installers have a basic knowledge and understanding (appropriate to their role) of data protection and privacy;

2.6.7Their training materials and standards take into account changes in the market and to goods/services, legislation and regulation; and

2.6.8Installers receive training that would enable them to have an understanding of the definition of vulnerability, are able to identify potential cases of vulnerability, and any guidance offered is responsive to the needs of Vulnerable Customers (e.g. Priority Services Register).

 2.7 Scheduling Visits

It is each Member’s responsibility to ensure that;

2.7.1The Customer receives notification prior to the Installation Visit (by whatever method the Member deems most appropriate) that their meter(s) is due to be replaced with a Smart Metering System, and when the Member anticipates this will happen;

2.7.2The Customer is provided with the relevant contact details to arrange an Installation Visit;

2.7.3The Domestic Customer is advised in advance of the Installation Visit that they will not be charged an upfront or one-off charge for the supply and installation of the Smart Metering System4;

2.7.4For Micro Business Customers, where there is a charge for the Smart Metering System and installation, the Customer is advised prior to the Installation Visit;

2.7.5Where an Installation Appointment has been agreed with the Customer, the date and time band is confirmed with the Customer, by any appropriate media prior to the Installation Visit;

2.7.6When scheduling an Installation Visit, the Member will accommodate reasonable Customer requirements, e.g. any arising from specific cultural traditions or religious beliefs, the needs of Vulnerable Customers, the needs of Domestic residents at a Micro Business supply point, the needs of Protected Micro Business sites, or any operational business needs of a Micro Business Customer;

2.7.7Where possible, the Customer is notified in advance as to how many Personnel will attend the Installation Visit, if a third-party organisation is being used, and the name of the organisation;

2.7.8If the first appointment offered for an Installation Visit is inconvenient, the Customer is made aware of the range of Installation Appointment time bands that the individual Member operates and that are available to the Customer;

2.7.9If the Customer requests to cancel or reschedule an Installation Visit, that is accommodated (in line with existing policies and processes)5;

2.7.10The Customer is informed about their rights in relation to the Installation appointment, where relevant6;

2.7.11Where appropriate, the Customer is alerted to the Member’s password scheme, for example PSR (Priority Service Register) Customers or other circumstances where it appears appropriate;

2.7.12Their communications regarding the Installation Visit should clearly explain to the Customer what the Installation Visit will entail; the need for the Customer to be at the premises7, an indication as to how long a typical Installation Visit takes, that safe access, working conditions, and access to the meter will be required, that the gas and/or electricity supply will be shut off, that the operation of the Smart Metering System will be demonstrated, and that Energy Efficiency Guidance will be offered;

2.7.13Where both fuels are supplied by one company, all reasonable endeavours shall be made to exchange both meters at the same Installation Visit. In instances where this may not be possible, the Member will provide an explanation to the Customer and advise what will happen;

2.7.14At sites where different energy providers supply the electricity and gas, the Member will advise the Customer that the installation of the Smart Metering System may be undertaken on two separate Installation Visits, which meter they are replacing and that the individual Suppliers will make their own contact arrangements;

2.7.15For an Installation Visit that is being scheduled for housing that is known to be sheltered accommodation, approval should be gained from the warden, or other person in authority before making approaches to the residents; and

2.7.16When arranging an appointment for an Installation Visit, all reasonable endeavours will be used (by checking records and through discussion with the Customer), to identify whether the Customer;

2.7.16.1has specific needs – such as the visually impaired, hearing impaired, and those with low levels of literacy;

2.7.16.2Is known to be Vulnerable;

2.7.16.2.1Where it is identified that the Customer is Vulnerable and that has not previously been recorded, it is to be notified to the appropriate Member Personnel to be recorded; and

2.7.16.2.2Where appropriate, the Installation appointment should be arranged with the carer or the person with legal responsibility over the Customer, and they should be present during the Installation Visit (if required or requested by the Customer).

 3.0 Installation Visit

For the purposes of this section, the term “Customer” should be read as including a person that has the legal right to represent the Customer, and the relevant regulations listed should not be taken as an exhaustive list.

 3.1 Relevant Legislation and Regulation

3.1.1Gas Act 1986

3.1.2Electricity Act 1989

3.1.3Section 3 –HASAWA 1974

3.1.4Electricity Safety, Quality & Continuity Regulations 2002 (ESQCR)

3.1.5The Meters (Certification) Regulations 1998

3.1.6The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989

3.1.7The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998

3.1.8The Electricity (Standards of Performance) Regulations 2010

3.1.9September 2011 modification of the Standard Conditions of Gas and Electricity Supply Licences (Ofgem’s Spring Package response)

3.1.10Arrangements for site access Electricity and Gas SLC 13

3.1.11Effective Switching, via Interoperability of Advanced Domestic Meters; Electricity and Gas SLC 25B

3.1.12Legislation concerning data protection and privacy, including the Data Protection Act 1998 and EU Regulation 2016/679 (known as the General Data Protection Regulation)

3.1.13Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008

 3.2 Relevant Codes of Practice & Industry Commitments

3.2.1Meter Operation Code of Practice Agreement (MOCoPA ®) – Electricity

3.2.2Meter Asset Manager’s Code of Practice (MAMCoP) – Gas

3.2.3Approved Meter Installers Code of Practice (AMICoP)

3.2.4Safety Net for Vulnerable Customers8

 3.3 General Principles

It is each Member’s responsibility to ensure that;

3.3.1The Installer maintains a suitable standard of presentation when attending the Customer premises, for example is suitably attired;

3.3.2The Installer is courteous and professional;

3.3.3On attending the Customer premises, the Installer identifies themselves, the Member they represent, and states the purpose of the visit. The Installer will show a valid identity card which clearly displays the Member or Member’s third-party name, contact phone number, and the Installer’s name and photograph;

3.3.3.1The Customer is able to check the validity of the identity card with the Member;

3.3.3.2Where the Member operates a password scheme, the Installer will use the password when one has been requested by the Customer;

3.3.3.3The Installer carries the Gas Safe Registration ID Card when undertaking work on gas Smart Metering System installations. Where the Installer does not have their Gas Safe ID Card, the Customer is able to check the validity of the Gas Safe Registration of that Installer with Gas Safe9.

3.3.3.4On occasions where more than one person attends the Installation Visit, e.g. with a mentor/trainee/auditor, all Personnel are to present a valid identity card and each person's role is clearly explained to the Customer;

3.3.4A site inspection10 is undertaken before commencing any work at the Installation Visit and the Customer is advised that the inspection will take place;

3.3.5The Customer premises is left in a similar state “as found” as far as is reasonably possible;

3.3.6Ahead of any work starting, if the proposed meter location or configuration is different from existing, the Installer will discuss with the Customer where the meter and communications module can be installed11. Work is not to commence without the Customer’s agreement;

3.3.7 A record is maintained of which Installer visited the Customer;

3.3.8Processes are maintained for managing abortive or no access Installation Visits, so that the Customer can be made aware that the Installation Visit has failed, the reasons for the failure, what happens next, and what action(s) the Customer can take;

3.3.9No aspect of the Smart Metering System installation is undertaken (at an occupied premises) on occasions when the Customer is not in attendance, except for situations where work can be carried out without the Customer being present, for example; the replacement of tampered meters or aspects of an Installation Visit carried out in Proactive Install and Leave instances;

3.3.10Where meters are to be installed in sheltered housing (where it is known), approval should be gained from the warden, or other person in authority before making approaches to the residents;

3.3.11On occasions where the Customer has requested or requires a carer or other adult who has legal responsibility over them to be present, and they are not, no aspect of the Smart Metering System installation is to be undertaken;

3.3.12Where potential cases of vulnerability are identified during the Installation Visit, they are to be reported to the appropriate Member Personnel;

3.3.13When undertaking an installation for a Micro Business Customer that will impact the supply and the resident present has specific needs or, is identified as Vulnerable, the Member will use all reasonable endeavours to minimise the impact on the resident;

3.3.14Taking account of the circumstances of the installation, the Installer gives the Customer guidance on electrical safety, for example not storing objects too close to the meter;

3.3.15Taking account of the circumstances of the installation, for gas Smart Metering Systems Installation Visits, the Installer informs the Customer about the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) and the need to regularly have all gas appliances serviced and checked by a Gas Safe Registered engineer;

3.3.16The Customer is made aware of who to contact after the Installation Visit for further information in relation to the Smart Metering System for support, query resolution, or to provide feedback (verbally or in writing), and non-premium rate helpline numbers are provided; and

3.3.17The Customer is made aware of any additional sources of help and information, including from independent and impartial sources, help-lines, websites and other appropriate organisations able to offer assistance. This could include any centrally coordinated consumer engagement programme (related to smart metering or energy efficiency information, goods and services)

 3.4 Testing the System

It is each Member’s responsibility to take appropriate steps to ensure the full Smart Metering System is operating correctly, including WAN, HAN and IHD (if provided).

 3.5 In Home Display (IHD)

It is each Member’s responsibility to ensure that;

3.5.1An IHD is offered at the Installation Visit and if accepted, installed in an appropriate location and set up as far as practicable to meet the needs of the household e.g. tariff and payment type;

3.5.2Instances are recorded where the Customer has opted not to take an IHD, and where provided; and

3.5.3The IHD is suitably located to accommodate the Customer with specific needs, e.g. mobility problems.

A Member is not required to satisfy –

(i)the requirement in Clause 3.5.1 where it is derogated from the requirement to offer an IHD to the Customer pursuant to and in accordance with an Alternative Display Direction; and

(ii)the requirement in Clauses 3.5.2 where it has provided to the Customer an Alternative Display pursuant to and in accordance with an Alternative Display Direction.

 3.6 Demonstrating the System to the Customer

It is each Member’s responsibility to ensure that;

3.6.1Use of the Smart Metering System is demonstrated to the Customer in a clear and accurate manner, and is easy to understand, including what information is available from the Smart Metering System, how this can be accessed, and use of the IHD (where provided);

3.6.2Where a Smart Metering System is to be operated in Prepayment mode, the Customer is provided with a demonstration of the Prepayment functions – including, where appropriate, tariff detail, debt screens, releasing emergency credit and re-enabling supply, and guidance (with demonstrations where possible) on getting credit and the topping up process;

3.6.3Instructions in a written or other suitable material format, on how to use the Smart Metering System and IHD (if provided), are left with, or sent to the Customer;

3.6.4When demonstrating the Smart Metering System to a Customer, the demonstration is informed by;

3.6.4.1Any specific needs – such as the visually impaired, hearing impaired, and those with low levels of literacy;

3.6.4.2Any known Vulnerability;

3.6.5If the Customer requires or has requested someone to be present at the Installation Visit, for example, if the Customer is known to be Vulnerable or with specific needs, that person is included in the Smart Metering System demonstration; and

3.6.6Any information provided is available in a variety of media and in a format appropriate to or tailored for;

3.6.6.1Groups with specific needs – such as the visually impaired, hearing impaired, and those with low levels of literacy;

3.6.6.2Vulnerable Customers.

 3.7 Provision of Energy Efficiency Guidance

It is each Member’s responsibility to ensure that;

3.7.1Energy Efficiency Guidance is offered to the Domestic Customer at the Installation Visit;

3.7.2Energy Efficiency Guidance is offered to a Micro-Business Customer at a time appropriate to their needs, whether before, during, or after the Installation Visit;

3.7.3The Energy Efficiency Guidance provides the Customer with information and advice about their Smart Metering System and how they can use their Smart Metering System to improve their energy efficiency. The Customer is also directed to additional, impartial sources of information that might, for example, include generic information about the Energy Company Obligation (ECO);

3.7.4Energy Efficiency Guidance offered to the Customer complements any consumer engagement campaign co-ordinated by the Smart Energy GB;

3.7.5Energy Efficiency Guidance and materials are provided in a format that is suitable for the needs of the Customer that;

3.7.5.1Has specific needs – such as the visually impaired, hearing impaired, and those with low levels of literacy;

3.7.5.2Is known to be Vulnerable;

3.7.6Where possible, when giving Energy Efficiency Guidance to a Vulnerable Customer or a Customer with specific needs, appropriate steps are taken to ensure a carer or the person with legal responsibility over the Customer is present (if required or requested by the Customer);

3.7.7Where the Customer requests energy efficiency information over and above the Energy Efficiency Guidance provided at the Installation Visit, the Customer is given appropriate details of where and how they can obtain tailored or suitable advice; and

3.7.8Where the Customer requests Energy Efficiency Guidance to be given at a later date, the Member records this and follows it up as appropriate.

 3.8 Marketing

For each Member engaging in Marketing activity at the Installation Visit, they must ensure that;

3.8.1Consent must be obtained from the Customer prior to the Installation Visit (for chargeable goods and services only). Consent can be secured by any appropriate, recordable method that allows a freely given and specific indication of the Customer’s wishes, e.g. by telephone, text, in writing, or electronically (web-form or email)12;

3.8.2The Marketing discussion is ended immediately at the Customer’s request or if the Customer indicates that it is inconvenient, unwelcome or inappropriate;

3.8.3When obtaining prior consent from a Domestic Customer to engage in Marketing at the Installation Visit, the Member must specify the type of goods and services that may be discussed during such Marketing;

3.8.4Marketing is conducted in a fair, transparent, appropriate and professional manner;

3.8.5The Customer’s inexperience, vulnerability, credulity or loyalties are not exploited;

3.8.6No high-pressure tactics are used;

3.8.7Details of the goods or services offered are accurately presented and the benefits are not over stated, including any possible constraints on Interoperability;

3.8.8Credible information is provided (drawn from relevant evidence) of performance of energy efficiency goods or services;

3.8.9Marketing support materials do not give false or misleading information;

3.8.10It is explained to the Customer that only the goods and services available from (or through) the Member are being offered, and that others are available; and

3.8.11For a Customer that wants to know more about a Member’s propositions, but has not given prior consent for Marketing at the Installation Visit, the Member can;

3.8.11.1Leave the Customer with written information, so that they can initiate further contact with the Member; and

3.8.11.2Agree that the Member will contact the Customer at a future date to follow-up the discussion13;

3.8.12Referrals should be followed up after a minimum period of two working days (unless the Customer requests earlier action), allowing the Customer time to explore alternatives and compare the prices they are being offered.

 3.9 Sales

For a Domestic Customer, no Sales transactions are to be concluded at the Installation Visit.

For Members engaging in Sales transactions (Micro Business Customers only) at the Installation Visit, they must ensure that;

3.9.1The key terms and conditions of any agreement or contract are explained, including the Customer’s right to cancel the contract and the period within which this can be done without penalty;

3.9.2Sales are conducted in a fair, transparent, appropriate and professional manner;

3.9.3A Customer’s inexperience, vulnerability, credulity or loyalties are not exploited;

3.9.4No high-pressure tactics are used;

3.9.5The discussion is ended immediately at the Customer’s request or if the Customer clearly indicates that contact is inconvenient, unwelcome or inappropriate;

3.9.6It is explained to the Customer that only the goods and services available from (or through) the Member are being offered, and that others are available;

3.9.7Details of the goods or services offered are accurately presented and the benefits are not over stated, including any possible constraints on Interoperability;

3.9.8A credible written estimate is provided (drawn from relevant evidence) of performance of energy efficiency goods or services; and

3.9.9Sales support materials must not give false or misleading information.

 3.10 Incomplete Installations

For an installation that cannot be commenced or completed during the Installation Visit, it is each Member’s responsibility to ensure that;

3.10.1The Customer is made aware of the reason(s) the installation could not be completed, for example if the site inspection highlighted areas for concern or in Reactive and Proactive Install and Leave instances;

3.10.2The site is left in a safe state before departing; and

3.10.3They have processes in place for:

3.10.3.1Re-arranging the Installation Visit, if required; and

3.10.3.2Clearly and accurately communicating to the Customer when the Smart Metering System installation is complete.

 4.0 Post Installation

The relevant regulations listed should not be taken as an exhaustive list.

 4.1 Relevant Regulation

4.1.1Gas and Electricity (Consumer Complaints Handling Standards) Regulations 2008

 4.2 Customer Feedback

It is each Member’s responsibility to ensure that;

4.2.1The Customer has the means available for providing feedback on their experience of the Installation Visit. This could for example, be in the form of an addressed and franked feedback card, via a website, or verbally; and

4.2.2This information is taken into account for future Installation Visits and, where appropriate, adjustments are made to Member policies and processes.

 5.0 Fault Resolution

 5.1 Procedures for Handling Fault

It is each Member’s responsibility to ensure that;

5.1.1If a fault is identified with the Smart Metering System during the Installation Visit, the Customer is made aware of the problem, what the resolution is likely to be, who will be resolving the fault, and the approximate timescales of the resolution;

5.1.2The Customer is provided with contact details for additional information related to the Smart Metering System fault, for example should they wish to check progress;

5.1.3It is made clear to the Customer that they will not be charged for rectifying the Smart Metering System fault;

5.1.4Information is provided as to who the Customer is to contact if they identify a fault with the Smart Metering System;

5.1.5If the IHD, if provided, is found to be faulty within 12 months of Installation, the IHD is either repaired or replaced14; and

5.1.6The Customer is informed about their rights in relation to components of the Smart Metering System that are identified to be faulty.

 6.0 Complaint Resolution

The relevant regulations listed should not be taken as an exhaustive list.

 6.1 Relevant Regulation

6.1.1Gas and Electricity (Consumer Complaints Handling Standards) Regulations 200815

6.1.2Energy Ombudsman16                                                      

 6.2 Procedures for Resolving Complaints17

The Customer should have clarity as to whom to go to if they have queries or problems and where they can get redress. It is each Member’s responsibility to ensure that;

6.2.1Complaint handling and redress systems with appropriately trained staff are put in place ahead of the mass rollout of smart meters;

6.2.2The Member that receives any complaint related to the Installation Visit makes all reasonable endeavours to investigate the Customer’s concerns and takes appropriate steps to resolve the issue;

6.2.3Suitable operational arrangements are in place with service providers and Network Operators so complaints are addressed in a timely manner; and

6.2.4Requirements or obligations in relation to the reporting of the nature of complaints regarding the Installation Visit are complied with.

 APPENDIX A1: Clauses Not Applicable to Micro-Businesses

Table 1: This table shows the clauses within the Code that do not apply to Micro-Business Customers.

Clause

Description

2.4.3.2

Suppliers are not required to tailor awareness and communications material for Vulnerability for Micro Business Customers

2.6.8

The Suppliers of Micro Business Customer’s do not have licence obligations to cater for Vulnerability. Providing training to Installers on Vulnerability would be on a voluntary basis

2.7.3

A Micro Business Customer can be charged up-front for the Smart Metering System. Should there be a charge incurred, the Member is obliged to inform the Customer up-front (refer clause 2.7.4)

2.7.16.2

Suppliers of Micro Business Customers do not have licence obligations to identify and report on Vulnerability

2.7.11, 3.3.3.2

There is no obligation to alert Micro Business Customers to the Member’s password scheme

3.3.12

When installing a Smart Metering System for a Micro Business Customer, the Installer is expected to take all reasonable endeavours to minimise the impact on the resident at the site if they have specific needs or are identified as Vulnerable (refer clause 3.3.13)

3.5.1

An IHD does not have to be offered to Micro Business Customers. Where an IHD is provided, clause 3.6.1 would apply

3.6.4.2, 3.6.6.2

When demonstrating a Smart Metering System or providing supporting information to a Micro Business Customer, Suppliers do not have a licence obligation to cater for Vulnerability

3.7.5.2, 3.7.6

Energy Efficiency Guidance only needs to be offered to the Micro Business Customer, not to Vulnerable residents (where identified) at those sites

3.8.1, 3.8.11

Members can conduct Marketing activities without obtaining prior consent from the Micro Business Customer. Members are expected to comply with all other clauses in the Marketing section

 APPENDIX A2: Clauses Specific to Vulnerable Customers

Purpose

This section is a grouping of all the clauses in the Code specific to vulnerability.

Glossary of Terms

“Vulnerable” means a Customer who is classed as Vulnerable according to the following definition:

A Customer is vulnerable, who, due to their Personal Characteristics or Circumstance, or otherwise being in a vulnerable situation, may require Priority Services or additional support.

“Personal Characteristics or Circumstance” includes:

(a)The Domestic Customer being of pensionable age.

(b)The Domestic Customer being chronically sick, or having an impairment, disability, long term medical condition (including but not limited to a visual, auditory, literacy or mobility impairment), or severe financial insecurity (they are unable to safeguard their personal welfare of the personal welfare of other members of the household).

2.0 PRE-INSTALLATION

2.4 Engagement and Customer Awareness

2.4.3 Are made available to the Customer in a variety of media and in a format appropriate to or tailored for;

2.4.3.1 Groups with specific needs – such as the visually impaired, hearing impaired, and those with low levels of literacy;

2.4.3.2 Vulnerable Customers;

2.6 Training and Accreditation

2.6.8 Installers receive training that would enable them to have an understanding of the definition of vulnerability, are able to identify potential cases of vulnerability, and any guidance offered is responsive to the needs of Vulnerable Customers (e.g. Priority Services Register).

2.7 Scheduling Visits

2.7.6 When scheduling an Installation Visit, the Member will accommodate reasonable Customer requirements, e.g. any arising from specific cultural traditions or religious beliefs, the needs of Vulnerable Customers, the needs of Domestic residents at a Micro Business supply point, the needs of Protected Micro Business sites, or any operational business needs of a Micro Business Customer;

2.7.15 For an Installation Visit that is being scheduled for housing that is known to be sheltered accommodation, approval should be gained from the warden, or other person in authority before making approaches to the residents; and

2.7.16 When arranging an appointment for an Installation Visit, all reasonable endeavours will be used (by checking records and through discussion with the Customer), to identify whether the Customer;

2.7.16.1 has specific needs – such as the visually impaired, hearing impaired, and those with low levels of literacy;

2.7.16.2 Is known to be Vulnerable;

2.7.16.2.1 Where it is identified that the Customer is Vulnerable and that has not previously been recorded, it is to be notified to the appropriate Member Personnel to be recorded; and

2.7.16.2.2 Where appropriate, the Installation appointment should be arranged with the carer or the person with legal responsibility over the Customer, and they should be present during the Installation Visit (if required or requested by the Customer).

3.0 INSTALLATION VISIT

3.3 General Principles

3.3.10 Where meters are to be installed in sheltered housing (where it is known), approval should be gained from the warden, or other person in authority before making approaches to the residents;

3.3.11 On occasions where the Customer has requested or requires a carer or other adult who has legal responsibility over them to be present, and they are not, no aspect of the Smart Metering System installation is to be undertaken;

3.3.12 Where potential cases of vulnerability are identified during the Installation Visit, they are to be reported to the appropriate Member Personnel;

3.3.13 When undertaking an installation for a Micro Business Customer that will impact the supply and the resident present has specific needs or, is identified as Vulnerable, the Member will use all reasonable endeavours to minimise the impact on the resident;

3.5 In Home Display (IHD)

3.5.3 The IHD is suitably located to accommodate the Customer with specific needs, e.g. mobility problems.

3.6 Demonstrating the System to the Customer

3.6.4 When demonstrating the Smart Metering System to a Customer, the demonstration is informed by;

3.6.4.1 Any specific needs – such as the visually impaired, hearing impaired, and those with low levels of literacy;

3.6.4.2 Any known Vulnerability;

3.6.5 If the Customer requires or has requested someone to be present at the Installation Visit, for example, if the Customer is known to be Vulnerable or with specific needs, that person is included in the Smart Metering System demonstration; and

3.6.6 Any information provided is available in a variety of media and in a format appropriate to or tailored for;

3.6.6.1 Groups with specific needs – such as the visually impaired, hearing impaired, and those with low levels of literacy;

3.6.6.2 Vulnerable Customers.

3.7 Provision of Energy Efficiency Guidance

3.7.5 Energy Efficiency Guidance and materials are provided in a format that is suitable for the needs of the Customer that;

3.7.5.1 Has specific needs – such as the visually impaired, hearing impaired, and those with low levels of literacy;

3.7.5.2 Is known to be Vulnerable;

3.7.6 Where possible, when giving Energy Efficiency Guidance to a Vulnerable Customer or a Customer with specific needs, appropriate steps are taken to ensure a carer or the person with legal responsibility over the Customer is present (if required or requested by the Customer);

 

1.   The Supply Licence Conditions can be found on the Ofgem website; http://www.ofgem.gov.uk/

2.   The Guaranteed Standards of Performance can be found on the Ofgem website; http://www.ofgem.gov.uk/

3.   Subject to consumer engagement material being made available by the Programme.

4.   The customer may be subject to an up-front or one-off charge if, prior to the Installation Visit, he/she (a) expressly requests the installation of equipment that exceeds the minimum requirements of the Smart Metering System technical specification; and (b) enters into a contract for the provision of such equipment.

5.   No charge will be incurred if more than two working days’ notice is given.  Members must make clear to cus­tomers during the pre-installation period any charges that may be applied if the customer cancels or resched­ules an Installation Visit.

6.   This is as may be set out in regulations made by Ofgem under section 33A, 33AA, 33AB, 33D or 47 of the Gas Act 1986 and/or section 39, 39A, 39B, 42A or 60 of the Electricity Act 1989.  

7.   Except for situations where work can be carried out without the Customer being present, for example; the replacement of tampered meters or aspects of an Installation Visit carried out in Proactive Install and Leave instances;

8.   Only applicable to Members of Safety Net for Vulnerable Customers

9.   The Installer will provide Gas Safe contact details when requested by the Customer

10.   MAMCoP section 7.3; Pre-Installation Procedures and MOCoPA™ 1.1.6 Assessment on Site of Risks to Safety

11.   If the Customer requests to have the Smart Metering System installed in a different location, they may incur cost for the work. If the Customer will incur cost for the work, he/she will be made aware of this, and the sup­plier will enter into a contract with the Customer in respect of the activity prior to the Installation Visit. Charging will not occur to recover costs directly associated with a standard installation.

12.   The Member must also inform the Customer that they are under no obligation to receive Marketing.

13.   Members must maintain an auditable record of instances where they have agreed to contact the Customer at a future date to follow up the discussion.   

14.   The licensee need only do this where in its reasonable opinion it is satisfied that the fault in the IHD or Smart Metering System is not due to a failure by the Domestic Customer to take all reasonable steps to keep the IHD or Smart Metering System in good working order.

15.   http://www.legislation.gov.uk/

16.   http://www.ombudsman-services.org/energy.html

17.   This section does not remove or replace the Suppliers’ obligations under the Gas and Electricity (Consumer Complaints Handling Standards) Regulations 2008.