A new licence-backed code of practice for the roll out of smart meters has been approved by Ofgem.

The energy regulator has established the Smart Meter Installation Code of Practice (SMICOP), which bans suppliers from making sales during a smart meter installation visit.

The SMICOP will also require suppliers to gain prior consent from domestic customers before the day of the installation visit in order to conduct face-to-face marketing, as well as preventing them from levying an upfront charge for the supply and installation on the smart meter.

Energy suppliers will also be obligated to provide information, advice and a practical demonstration of the newly installed smart meter, as well as raising awareness of energy efficiency.

Philip Cullum, Ofgem’s partner for consumer policy, said the SMICOP “establishes a rigorous protection regime that puts consumers first”, and the regulator will be able to levy fines if suppliers breach the code.

Lawrence Slade, chief operating officer at Energy UK, said the SMICOP is “a significant milestone for the programme”.

Consumer Focus is also happy with the SMICOP. Their energy expert, Zoe McLeod, said: “This is a sound move for customers, helping to ensure their smart meter home visit is a more positive experience.”

The new rules will come into force on 1 June 2013.