“These companies could face further punishments, and potentially lose their licences if they don’t resolve this situation soon,” says Owen.

“These five energy companies might not be household names – accounting for fewer than 100,000 households between them – but the smart meter network won’t work properly until every supplier is using the same communications infrastructure.”

Owen says that Daligas, Enstroga, Entice Energy Supply, Euston Energy, and Symbio Energy cannot say that they were not previously warned, as all suppliers were meant to be enrolled in the DCC smart meter infrastructure by November 2017.

In January, Ofgem consulted on issuing nine suppliers with a final order, giving them a deadline of 31 March 2020 to comply and become DCC users.

Three of these suppliers (Ampower Ltd, Green Supplier Limited, UK National Gas Ltd) have since become compliant and will not be issued with final orders.

Better Energy Limited has not been issued with a final order as it no longer has any domestic customers and has requested the revocation of its supply licences, which will happen on 20 March 2020.

DCC is a subsidiary of outsourcing company Capita, whose shares have continued to plunge as the market digests the outsourcer’s warning that a turnaround of the business will be more expensive and slower than hoped, reported The Telegraph today.

According to the report, since the company delivered its annual results, £1bn has been wiped off Capita’s value.

The outsourcer’s contracts also include recruitment for the Army and running the London Congestion Zone.