Npower is the first of the major energy suppliers to pledge that their installers will not sell products or services when fitting smart meters.
Npower joins smaller energy companies such as Co-operative Energy, Spark and Ovo in signing up to the ‘no selling, just installing’ smart meter challenge.
Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which?, said: ‘We’re pleased that Npower is acting in the best interests of its customers by signing up to our promise of ‘no selling, just installing’.
He added: ‘We urge the rest of the major suppliers to do the right thing and sign up today.’
No hard selling
In July 2011, Which? launched a campaign to stop energy companies using smart meter installation as an excuse to sell. Seven energy companies agreed not to sell during installation.
The smart meter roll out will cost consumers more than £11 billion, so it is important that they benefit from the new devices.
Richard Lloyd said: ‘As consumers are expected to foot the bill for the smart meter roll out, it’s crucial that energy companies focus on installing them safely and efficiently, and not on the hard sell.’
Consumers distrust energy sales
According to Which? research, at least 11.5 million people have felt under pressure when approached by doorstep energy salespeople in the last 12 months. 93% of people say they would not let an energy company salesperson into their home, and 31% would not even open the door to them.
Which? is concerned that energy companies will use the smart meter roll out as an excuse to send in stealth salespeople disguised as installers, and has warned industry not to use the £11.3 billion smart meter roll out as an opportunity to make a ‘quick profit.’
Volker Beckers, group chief executive officer at RWE Npower says ‘We want to continue to build a trusted partnership with customers and think that the Which? challenge is a great way of displaying our commitment, sending a clear signal that we’re focused on delivering a quick, efficient and safe smart meter installation to customers.’
- See which other companies have signed up to the Which? smart meter challenge
- Find out more about smart meters
- Which? campaigns on a range of energy issues. Find out more about our energy campaigns