You HAVE to get a smart meter for most of the top fixed energy tariffs from the Big Six - but we reveal the best deals that don't need one fitted

  • Many of the cheapest tariffs require a smart meter being fitted
  • Most smaller energy suppliers do not insist on the installation
  • We reveal the best energy tariffs for those don't want a device to be installed

Energy customers will increasingly find that to access the cheapest fixed tariffs, they need a smart meter fitted. To keep in line with the Government's - now extremely unfeasible - target of having a meter fitted in every small business and household by 2020, many customers can only access certain Big Six tariffs if they have a device installed. Often, these are now the cheapest deals. Eon, for example, is one such supplier where all single fixed tariffs come with the proviso that customers must have a smart meter fitted. Many This is Money readers have contacted us about Eon, upset that the supplier is essentially mollycoddling them into getting a smart meter, or face being penalised.

British Gas is another major supplier that also requires its customers to have a smart meter fitted to access many of the cheapest deals. For example, its energy plus boiler cover, a fixed tariff, which has an average annual price of 1,020 a year, says customers must have a meter installed within three months of signing up to the deal or they will be offered a different tariff with alternative - higher - rates.

The other Big Six suppliers also require a smart meter to be installed for any customer looking to switch to one of their fixed tariffs. The only time customers can access the cheapest deals without a meter is if their provider is not yet able to install one in their area. A number say they do not want to have a meter fitted and feel like they are being pressured into having a meter installed, even though there is currently no legal requirement to have one fitted. However, there are a number of tariffs from smaller suppliers who offer top energy deals that don't require smart meter installation. To help save energy customers money and get them on the best deal possible, This is Money, with help from uSwitch, have compiled the cheapest energy deals from these suppliers for both standard variable tariff (SVTs) and fixed tariffs.