Which? watchdog warns suppliers over cold energy sales

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Government plans to introduce "smart meters" to monitor domestic energy use should not be used as an excuse to cold-call customers to sell products, according to a leading consumer group.

Which? says energy companies could use the roll-out and installation of new smart meters as an opportunity to try to sell more services to customers.

It has launched a "not selling, just installing" scheme, and so far, seven energy suppliers have signed up. However, none of the "Big Six" companies - which are currently under scrutiny for skyrocketing bills - have agreed to sign up.

The smart meters are meant to result in cheaper gas and electricity bills as consumers can monitor their energy use.

The Government wants the meters rolled out nationwide by 2019 in an £11.3 billion.

But Which? claims consumers are footing the bill for the programme, and should be protected from cold-call sales techniques.

“Smart meters have the potential to save consumers a lot of money on their energy bills," explained Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which?

"As consumers are expected to foot the billion-pound bill for the roll out energy companies must focus on installing them safely and efficiently, and not on the hard sell."

A recent Which? survey found 93% of people would not let an energy salesman into their house.

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