back to article Capita's smart meter monopoly is owed £42m by industry

The Capita-owned monopoly that runs Britain's smart meter infrastructure made an operating profit of £390,000 last year – but paid no tax and is owed £42m by the wider smart meter industry. Smart DCC Ltd's regulatory accounts for the year ending March 31 were published earlier this week in its annual report. The firm, also …

  1. getHandle

    Useless idiots

    So Crapita are the reason my smart meter is going to automatically turn into a dumb meter when I move supplier...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Useless idiots

      Possibly not. My current supplier doesn't support smart meters regardless of whether you already have one.

    2. inmypjs Silver badge

      Re: Useless idiots

      No your technically illiterate elected politicians are the reason, and the EU, and of course you for having one installed.

      I recently refused a meter from my existing supplier and switched to a smaller supplier that doesn't offer them for about £100 pa saving. I don't think that saving is coincidental.

    3. Culfri

      Re: Useless idiots

      No. Clearly not. SMETS1 (which you have now) is provided by your supplier - so when you change it doesn't work with your new supplier.

  2. Haku

    Someone's making one hell of a payday out of these devices that are being touted as money savers for their users.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Porsche Cayenne are leaving the premises!

      Well, you have to reach NILPOUND before year's end somehow...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I got some bumpf through from my leccy provider. The headlines that I drew from it was:

    a) I have to pay for this? Just to tell me what is using power and how much?

    b) What do you mean its not compatible with other suppliers? So I would have to pay again for theirs?

    I may be old fashioned on this one but I'll just turn things off after I use them thanks.

    1. 2460 Something

      That, coupled with how easy they are to hack, is the reason whenever they call me up trying to push me one I tell them to (very politely) go away.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      >Just to tell me what is using power and how much?

      HAHA, he fell for the "monitor your usage" marketing.

      No sorry these are for surveillance, and also a corporate welfare project.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        How many smart meters suffer from the Dutch problem? Where they can't handle dimmers in the house. The report said they gave readings that were too high.

        Presumably that could also be true for any non-mechanical meters.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: How many smart meters suffer from the Dutch problem

          What you have there is a mainstream news report based on a statement from the PR department of a university. It is almost certain to be hugely misleading. Chances that the journalist even read the abstract of the actual research paper, never mind understood the conclusions, are near zero.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I originally had Eon, installed a smart meter and it was pretty good. I switched to first utility for 1 year, who didnt support my smart meter, but I could still read the readings anyway and had to put them on the website. A year later I went back to eon, expecting to be able to link the smart meter to my account automatically again. They said they dont support it.

    How can an energy company that installed and supported he smart meter from 2012 to 2014 (it also had EON branding on it) then decide not to support the same bit of equipment in 2016? They also said that they would not swap it out for a supported one.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "They also said that they would not swap it out for a supported one."

      From your comment I'm assuming you want one of these devices. Personally I wouldn't tolerate being dicked about by a commodity supplier like that. Formally complain to them, and if they don't fix it to your satisfaction within the eight week deadline, escalate to the Energy Ombudsman. That costs energy companies about £400 for each complaint that the Ombudsman service takes on, and the energy company have to comply with the outcome.

      There's a better way, and that's to change supplier. And if your current mob try and enforce an exit penalty eg on a fixed term contract, then that's something else to take up with the Energy Ombudsman.

      I've actually worked for E.ON, and whilst I'd still consider their energy offers if they were really cheap, I wouldn't touch any E.ON branded hardware offer under any circumstances. Far too much history of rubbish hardware support, running away from difficult markets or where they weren't making enough money.

  5. s. pam

    Oh poor little Crapita!

    My heart bleeds...NOT for them. I've got no sympathy for them and I'd guess heads will roll...out the door as normal there for this.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Oh poor little Crapita!

      Capita aren't complaining about the figures, so your comment doesn't make sense.

      The only one who seems to be having a gripe is the writer who, like so many, assume there is a conspiracy when a company can make an operating profit and then apply legally allowable costs to reduce

      that to zero taxable profit. Given the operating profit represents less than 0.1% of revenue, I'm not surprised that they were able to find expenses that reduced this profit for tax purposes.

  6. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    And completely unnecessary.

    All because some company bunged a peer to have this BS included in the relevant "Green" (as in cash, not environment) Energy Bill.

    The UKG could save itself some cash by dumping this.

    But note the consumers pay for the bills through raised bills.

    IIRC one of these costs about £400. Obviously different utility companies will have different ideas about how long they can retain a customer and add the charge for the meter accordingly.

  7. Gio Ciampa

    "BEIS is content with this setup"

    Of course it is ... no doubt there's a cushy job in it for someone down the line...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "BEIS is content with this setup"

      no doubt there's a cushy job in it for someone down the line...

      There will be, but probably not in the way you assume. BEIS are happy because if it all goes titsup, they can point the finger at Capita and DCC, and say "it wasn't us, it was a private sector contractor that did it and ran away". Which is exactly what they did with the failed "Green Deal". Every aspect of Green Deal was DECC (BEIS predecessor department) doing, but from the very beginnning it was set up to fail outside of DECC. I know, I worked on it, and industry was very clear that they'd made a mess.

      Because the useless snivel servants and fuckwit politicians think that approach works, they've done the same with smart meters, and indeed with the "Low Carbon Contracts Company", the quasi private sector company set up to administer the half-witted "Contracts for Difference" intended to add billions of pounds to electricity bills, and then divert that to the builders of Hinkley Point.

      The cushy job element is not (generally) for former civil servants, but for anybody with a CV that fits the requirements for the management team of these strange little companies, and who are either not doing much in a real job, or are near retirement age. They can then takeon a job that few other people would, and demand a huge salary for doing an essentially bureaucratic task, managing a few people. In this way, the chap who was chief exec of the Green Deal Finance Company was trousering about a thrid of a million quid a year for managing a company of less than twenty people. He wasn't a civil servant, but obviously knew a few.

  8. Len Goddard


    British Gas were unsurprisingly unsurprised when I rang them and told them to put their smart meter where the sun never shines. "Yes sir, I'll make a note on your account not to bother you with this again". Seems it happens so often they have a procedure for dealing with it.

    Great British public appears to have more sense than I gave it credit for.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Unsurprised

      "Seems it happens so often they have a procedure for dealing with it.".

      E,on too.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Unsurprised

      Seems it happens so often they have a procedure for dealing with it.

      Not sure about the frequency of rejections. The reason for this is that British Gas and E.ON both got fined several million quid each for failures to install similar meters for business customers, and the crux of the fine was that they couldn't show the regulator any evidence that they'd actually tried to complete the job. So this time round they're making sure that do keep records of who has been offered a meter, and then declined.

  9. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    "Caught by El Reg"

    Vulture on your back!

    was caught trying to charge £7m to change a single component in its dual-band comms hub by The Register.

    Well, I still don't know whether that charge was justified or just a case of a report being afraid of big numbers.

    Can we have an update, please?

  10. Wolfclaw

    Was offered a smart meter and politely told them where to go !

  11. SImon Hobson

    What, 22 postings (so far) and no mention of Capita and 4fold overspend. A lot of you must have decided it's pub-o-clock on Friday afternoon I guess.

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