British Gas is forcing Essex residents to have a smart metre installed, it is claimed.

Residents say they have had letters from the energy provider explaining about the installation despite some customers not wanting them.

David Amess, MP for Southend West said he will raising the issue in the House of Commons.

British Gas says the smart metres save customers money but critics say it is only cost effective of the home owner takes steps to regulate the usage.

 A spokesman for British Gas said: "Smart meters offer customers significant benefits, including an end to estimated bills and clear information on energy use which has been proven to help customers save money.

"We are committed to offering smart meters to all of our customers, so they can experience the benefits that smart meters bring.”