Consumer watchdog Which? launched the “no selling, just installing” promise in July this year, calling on the industry not to use the £11bn roll out of smart meters over the next eight years as an opportunity to cross sell products and services.
Smart energy meters are to be installed in every UK home by the end of 2019. They will measure household energy usage, allowing people to see exactly how much power they are using. Usage information direct to suppliers, without the need for meter readers to visit their properties.
Npower has agreed not to incentivise its installers to sell while fitting smart meters and says its staff will not ask customers to enter into new contracts or change tariffs during the installation.
Volker Beckers, group chief executive officer of 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.”
Npower joins Co-operative Energy, Ecotricity, First Utility, Good Energy, Ovo, Spark Energy and Utility Warehouse in signing up to the promise.
Trust in energy companies is even lower than that of banks, according to a Which? consumer survey. Just one quarter of the UK adult population considers energy suppliers to be trustworthy, compared to 30% that believe banks are trustworthy.
EDF Energy, Scottish and Southern Energy and British Gas have all suspended doorstep selling recently to try and turn around their reputation for “Del Boy” sales tactics. Watchdog Consumer Focus had found that many customers had been compelled to switch to worse deals after they had been confronted by door to door sales people.