Npower 'won't sell' during smart meter roll-out

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The first of the UK's 'Big Six' energy suppliers has made a public promise not to use the country-wide roll out of smart meters as an opportunity to sell gas and electricity.

Energy firms have been charged with fitting 53 million smart meters in UK homes by 2019. The meters are designed to help households monitor their energy use - with the baseline aim to making gas and electricity cheaper and helping to cut emissions.

Some critics of the scheme claimed the energy firms would end up hiking prices as a result - and whilst five of the Big Six have announced energy price rises in recent months, none have been attributed to the smart meter scheme.

Npower has become the first of the Big Six companies to publicly pledge not to use the smart meter installation programme as an opportunity to push their products on consumers.

It has signed up to a campaign by consumer watchdog Which?, promising 'no selling, just installing'.

Which? had raised concerns that energy firms - many of which had employed doorstep sellers until recently - would use the roll-out to put "stealth salesman dressed as installers" into people's homes.

It launched the "no selling, just installing" campaign in July. Since then, many smaller energy companies have signed up - including Co-operative Energy and Spark.

Npower has become the first 'big' supplier to sign up to the pledge.

By agreeing to the campaign, Npower has said it will not incentivise installers to sell whilst fitting the new meters, so they will not try to get customers to sign up to energy deals or try to get them to swap tariffs.

In terms of doorstep sales, British Gas recently announced a three-month suspension of its doorstep sales programme.

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