The energy regulator Ofgem has approved new rules that will protect consumers during the installation of smart meters at their homes.
In particular, the rules ban sales during smart meter installation visits – something Which? has been campaigning for.
The code of practice also governs how energy suppliers should help consumers get the best out of their smart meter so that they benefit consumers as well as the suppliers.
Smart meter roll-out
Smart meters should bring an end to estimated bills and will potentially help householders save energy as they are linked up to an in-house display so people can see how they use energy in their homes.
The official smart meter roll-out is due to start next year, although some energy suppliers are already installing them. The government wants nearly every home to have a smart meter by the end of 2019.
But concerns have been raised around cost, data protection and health.
If you want to keep track of your energy use now, visit our energy monitor reviews.
Which? has been concerned about the potential for cross-selling during smart meter installations in people’s homes.
We don’t think any customer should be forced to listen to a sales pitch that they hadn’t expected or agreed to as it could result in pressure selling and open the floodgates to mis-selling – a problem we have encountered in the energy industry a number of times before.
We asked energy companies to sign up to our ‘smart challenge’ to not sell but just install smart meters. 10 companies signed up to it and now the government has banned sales during smart meter installation.
Which? has also been concerned with the cost of the roll-out and the lack of checks in place to keep the costs under control. We asked the government to stop and review the smart meter roll-out.
Your smart meter rights
You do not have to accept a smart meter if you don’t want one. Although a national roll-out of smart meters will start in 2014, you can object to it.
You can find out more in our consumers right guide to smart meters: do I have to accept a smart meter?
- Find out what the difference is between an energy monitor and smart meter
- Save energy with a Best Buy energy monitor
- Read up on your rights with smart meter installations