Energy firms turn up the heat on smart metersExternal link to BBC
The energy regulator, Ofgem, is encouraging suppliers to hand out smart meter installation appointments to customers who haven't asked for them, and in some cases, to turn up at their homes uninvited. It's all part of the government's drive to get energy smart meters in all homes by 2020. Energy customers have been contacting Money Box angry that they've been receiving letters and texts with appointment times for the installation of the digital meters even though in some cases they've already refused one. The meters are not compulsory. The Government says smart meters will help households manage their energy use and their bills more efficiently. But the roll-out of the digital meters has had a number of teething problems. Reporter Tony Bonsignore has the story. Sacha Deshmukh, chief executive of Smart Energy GB joins the programme.Later this month the Supreme Court will rule on the case of Siobhan McLaughlin from County Antrim who is challenging the rules that refuse her and her four children bereavement benefits because she wasn't married to her late partner John Adams. In 2015 at the High Court, she argued that the refusal to pay the widow's allowance discriminated against her on grounds of marital status. She won, but the decision was overturned on appeal in 2016. The Supreme Court is the highest court in the land. Paul Lewis speaks to Siobhan McLaughlin about why she's pursuing the legal action. And Jo Edwards, partner and head of family law at legal practise, Forsters, explains the importance of this case. Company opens a new pension scheme which guarantees a pension for life linked to pay. That's not a common headline these days. Because across the country good pension schemes are being closed down. These so-called defined benefit schemes promise a pension based on the worker's salary. But they are disappearing in the private sector as firms fear the cost of future liabilities. But not everywhere. Some firms are actually opening new schemes which they say are affordable. Paul Lewis visits Bromford Housing Association in Aylesbury which is opening a new scheme for its 1,100 staff that promises a pension for life. Hilary Salt from First Actuarial also joins the programme. Presenter: Paul LewisProducer: Lesley McAlpineEditor: Jim Frank.