Energy Market Investigation (Restricted Meters) Order 2016

This order provides measures to make it easier for restricted meter customers to change tariff and/or supplier.


Explanatory note

Letter to Ofgem


This order was made under the market investigation provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002.

The order requires electricity suppliers with more than 50,000 customers:

  • to allow restricted meter (RM) customers to switch to non-RM tariffs. Switching to a non-RM tariff cannot be conditional on a change of meter or the payment of additional charges;
  • to inform their RM customers that they can switch their supplier and/or switch to a non-RM tariff as set out above. Contact information for Citizens Advice must also be provided. Information must be provided in customers’ bills and other regular written communications.

Compliance statements

Suppliers must submit annually a restricted meters remedy compliance statement to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The first remedy compliance statement is to be submitted to the CMA by 30 September 2017. Subsequent remedy compliance statements are to be submitted to the CMA by 30 September each year.

Further information is available on the energy market investigation case page.

CMA recommendation to Ofgem

The CMA has recommended that Ofgem consider whether it is appropriate to either extend the duration of the corresponding provisions in Supplier Licence Conditions that mirror the substantive obligations in the Energy Market Investigation (Restricted Meters) Order 2016 or take such other steps as Ofgem may consider appropriate to protect customers on restricted meters until the rollout of smart meters is substantively completed.

The CMA has made this recommendation as the roll-out of smart meters has not progressed in line with the initial projections on which the Energy Market Investigation (Restricted Meters) Order 2016 was premised.

Evidence available to the CMA in 2019 showed that it was not on track to complete by the end of 2020 and could be as much as two years behind schedule. More recently, a BEIS press release on 18 June 2020 indicated that the roll-out may now be expected to continue into 2024.

This recommendation is consistent with expectations set out in the Explanatory Note to the Order.

Published 14 December 2016
Last updated 3 August 2020 + show all updates
  1. Recommendation letter to Ofgem published.

  2. First published.