Energylinx News

January 30, 2018

Energy suppliers accused of forcing smart meters on customers

Citizens Advice has reported complaints from customers who feel harassed from energy suppliers wanting them to install a smart meter. Citizens Advice, which runs the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) has claimed customers have received a large volume of texts, emails, letter and phone calls from energy suppliers asking them to put a smart meter in their home.

Issues seen by the CTSI include households being given 'deemed appointments' - where suppliers say they're coming to install smart meters without giving consumers a chance to opt out. Other complaints include communications about smart meters failing to mention that customers are under no obligation to have smart meters installed as they're not compulsory.

As a result of the increased amount of complaints, the CTSI has written to Energy UK asking them to remind energy suppliers to make clear in customers communications that smart meter installation is not obligatory.

Victoria MacGregor, director of energy at Citizens Advice:

"We are concerned that some companies are using aggressive sales practices to install smart meters. People have come to Citizens Advice for help because their energy supplier has said they'll force entry to install a smart meter, or told them that they are required to have one.

"Smart meters are not compulsory and customers shouldn't feel pressured to have one installed if they don't want one.

"We appreciate that suppliers are under pressure to install more smart meters but they have a responsibility to act reasonably towards their consumers and not to use misleading or aggressive sales practices."

Smart meters can be a helpful tool for our customers to keep on top of energy bills and show how much energy they're using. It gives a clear indication of how much it's costing in pounds & pence.

The government currently has a goal of offering 53 million smart meters to every UK household, and certain businesses, by 2020. It is thought that 8 million smart meters have been installed since the government started the roll-out in 2016.

Posted on January 30, 2018 at 04:04 PM