Smart Meter power off

Apologies if asked before but any advice appreciated
Been advised by Eon we must have smart meter fitted or we will be put on higher tariff. Problem is we have medical equipment that would be detrimental to the person if it’s switched off for two hours. Eon happy to supply a power pack so we don’t loose Wi-Fi but unable to help with a generator. Only options at mo are throwing an extension lead over next doors fence or hiring a generator but just wondered if anyone can suggest an alternative before I loose my rag with Eon who by the way say it’s not there fault it’s the government !

Hi Linda

You DO NOT have to have a Smart meter except in certain circumstances - usually if your meter if faulty or at the end of it’s life - then it can be more of a problem. If it needs changing anyway, you will have an issue with very short term disconnection for the work to be carried out. I would think that threatening you with a higher tariff if you refuse to change could be discrimination if you say no due to worries about the equipment… Disability Discrimination Act 2010 could kick in there! I suggest you ask how they get round the DDA !! On top of that they should make adequate provision to ensure continuity based on the need which is due to a Disability…

I would get back on to your supplier and explain your situation again and remind them they have an obligation to ensure continuity of supply due to the medical equipment installed. Also I presume you are on their Priority Register due to the equipment so you get Priority Service in the event of a supply failure.

If they are still not listening to you, I suggest a call to Citizen’s Advice and also threaten that you will contact the Energy Ombudsman. Perhaps also write to your MP to ask for some help in getting them to listen. Right now every MP wants people to thing they are wonderful!

I would be wary of a standard generator as the medical equipment may need a ‘smooth supply’ and a stand-alone generator may not be able to provide that.

I cannot believe for one moment that they have not encountered this issue before, so you may just need to keep working up the E-on ladder til you find someone high enough up the food chain to take some responsibility. Also when we had a Smart Meter installed we were not off for two hours - it took less than 20 minutes - so unless yours is a complex swap-over then I cant think why they say 2 hours (unless they are saying UP TO…two hours).

It’s an interesting situation - and frustrating for you - so please do keep us informed of your progress as I am sure others may have similar issues.

They have a duty of care to vulnerable customers. I’d start asking them about their duties under the Equality Act and safeguarding vulnerable customers. I think what I would do is have a word with a neighbour and see if they’d be willing for EON to connect everything to their supply for a couple of hours (if nothing else is available). Then I’d talk to EON about their paying for the inconvenience…

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