Ofgem guards against smart meter abuse

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Ofgem has approved an industry code-of-practice designed to protect consumers during the smart meter roll-out.

“With the roll-out of smart meters getting fully under way next year, it is essential that householders and businesses have confidence that meter installations are done in a fair and professional way,” said Philip Cullum, Ofgem partner for consumer policy.

The Smart Metering Installation Code of Practice (SMICoP) includes protections around sales and marketing for domestic consumers, including a ban on conducting any sales during the installation visit.

“For any face-to-face marketing to be conducted during the installation visit, a consumer has to give consent before the day of the visit,” said Ofgem.

Ofgem has also strengthened the code’s rules on face-to-face marketing following consultation, including making suppliers “clearly state that consumers are under no obligation to receive face-to-face marketing”.

The code is backed by licence conditions and the power to levy fines if rules are breached.

It will come into effect on 1 June, ahead of the mandated government roll-out of smart meters from 2014.

Tags: antitrust, business news, confidence, distribution, electronics business, Electronics news, Electronics Weekly, investment, meter installations, sales and marketing, smart meters

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