Eon has been sending letters and texts to some of its customers telling them they need to upgrade their gas and electricity meters to a smart meter.
The message says the provider needs to install smart meters into all customer homes as part of a nationwide upgrade programme.
But smart meters are not compulsory and it is up to the consumer to choose whether or not they have one installed.
Eon is sending texts and letters to customers saying they need to upgrade to a smart meter
Sandra Peters got in touch with us after receiving a text message containing this information.
The message she was sent from Eon encourages customers to sign up for an appointment for a smart meter installation and lists the benefits of having one.
These includes not having to send meter readings, no more estimated bills and the being able to see how much energy you are using.
But the message claims: ‘Your gas and electricity meters need to be upgraded to our new self-reading smart meters’.
Nowhere does it state that smart meters do not have to be installed.
Homes in the UK do not have to switch their meters, and many consumers have told us they want to keep their standard meter following a raft of problems with the roll-out.
Eon and the rest of the Big Six energy providers are obliged to offer a smart meter to all eligible customers by 2020, according to a government target.
The meters will make it easier to understand and pay for energy use.
However, there have been some teething problems.
Some of the first wave of smart meters installed may lose their smart functionality if switched to a different energy supplier.
We have also heard from a number of readers who do not want to have one installed for other reasons, such as fears over security risks or over the meter interfering with other household appliances.
Eon and the other Big Six energy firms have a target of 2020 for contacting consumers
We asked Eon why these messages had been sent out.
An spokesperson told us they hadn’t been sent out to all customers, but at the time of publishing hadn’t confirmed how many had received them.
They said: ‘We’re obliged to contact our customers about upgrading their classic meters with a new self-reading smart meter to support our commitment to Ofgem.
‘While smart meters are not compulsory, we firmly believe smart meters offer a number of significant benefits for customers, including bringing an end to estimated bills and the ability to gain a greater understanding of their energy use which can help them lower their energy consumption. If a customer does not want a smart meter, then they can contact us.’
We also spoke to Smart Energy GB, the organisation behind the roll out, which also confirmed that it wasn’t compulsory to have a meter fitted.
Robert Cheesewright, director of policy and communications at Smart Energy GB, said: ‘The smart meter roll-out will benefit everyone by bringing down energy bills, upgrading our national grid and delivering savings of £6billion to the British economy by 2030 – but there’s no obligation for anyone to have one – whether you