Your guide to smart meters

Your guide to smart meters

Everything you need to know about smart meters

  • could help you save money on your energy bills

  • improve awareness of energy consumption

  • highlight faulty appliances

  • forget about sending monthly readings to your supplier, they are done automatically

  • accurate bills, no more estimates!

Top Smart Meter Benefits

Smart meters come with instant benefits, helping you to take control of your energy usage by automatically measuring how much gas and electricity you're using via a wireless connection to your energy supplier. 

Currently, one in four homes have a smart meter installed, and every home and office in Britain will have been offered one by the end of 2024. 

In this guide, we look to highlight some of the key features and benefits of smart meters, and how you can get a smart meter from your energy supplier. 

Want to speak to us about smart meters? Call our smart meter specialist free on 

0800 107 1762

What is a smart meter?

A smart meter is a self-reading gas and electricity meter. With a smart meter, not only will you avoid inaccurate shock energy bills but also you can avoid accumulating a large final bill at the end of your tariff.

A smart meter has two main components: 

  • The meter itself, which utilises an encrypted data network to automatically send your meter readings wirelessly to your supplier - at least once a month. 

  • The In-Home Display (IHD) will show you what energy you're using, when and how much it cost; all in real time!

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What do smart meters look like? 

A smart meter comes in two main parts and will be installed by your energy supplier(s). Your traditional gas and electric meters will be replaced with smart meters which send your meter readings to your energy supplier(s).

 

You will also receive an In-Home Display which will show you how much energy you are using in pounds and pence

How are smart meters installed?

When you have a smart meter installed you get one for gas, another for electricity and a separate display called an In-Home Display (IHD). These devices connect together and the smart meter sends across your energy usage data to the IHD, so you can see how much energy you're using in real time as well as how much it costs. 

You won't be charged for having a smart meter installed, but the cost of rolling them all out to all homes will be added to everyone's bill. Plus, it could save you more money by encouraging you to use energy more efficiently.

How do In-Home Displays (IHD) work?

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Your smart meter installer will show you how to operate your In-Home Display (IHD) during your smart meter installation appointment, including how to see how much you are using, spending and setting budgets.

 

You can change your settings to allow you to view your energy usage either: 

  • Per Day

  • Per Week

  • Per Month

Your smart meter installer can show you how to do this or you can refer to the instruction manual they will provide you with. You can set this to accurately manage your costs and budgets to suit you. Being able to view your usage makes it easier to identify situations where you may be using a lot of energy and help you figure out ways in which you could reduce this.

You can also use the information available on the IHD to help you with switching energy tariffs and some energy suppliers offer cheaper tariffs to smart meter users.

Seeing how much energy you are using as you use it means on those cold winter nights when you might be worried about the cost of turning up your heating, you can stay warm knowing exactly what it’s costing you.

 

Accessible IHDs are available for people with impairments, including sight. Contact your supplier to find out more.

Can I have a smart meter if I pay by pre-pay key/card/token?

Yes, smart meters are available to pre-pay customers and can offer you more top-up options so there is no need for an emergency trip to the shops. Smart meters can allow you to top up online, via mobile or in the shop.

A smart pre-payment meter will be able to show you:

  • how much credit you have left

  • how much emergency credit you have (and when it has been activated)

  • your debt balance (if you have one)

  • if your credit’s getting low

Can smart meters access my data?

Smart meters only send meter reading data directly to your energy supplier at a frequency of your choice. This can be monthly, daily or half-hourly and your smart meter installer will set this up for you. Smart meters use a dedicated network to send these readings, so they don’t need to use Wi-fi or phone signal and the data transmitted is secure and encrypted.

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Can I switch a smart meter?

Yes, energy suppliers are currently installing SMETS 2 smart meters, which are a 2nd generation smart meter that stays ‘smart’ when you switch, so you can easily switch suppliers and tariffs to help keep your bills low.

How can I get a smart meter? 

You can get a smart meter by registering your interest with your energy supplier directly. Smart Energy GB (the government backed-campaign promoting smart meters) have an information page that will take you directly to your energy supplier's smart meter webpage. 

Alternatively, speak to our in-house Smart Meter Specialist today by calling 0800 107 1762 (free) and ask us for help with getting your smart meter.

Who are Smart Energy GB?

Smart Energy GB is the not-for-profit, government-backed campaign helping everyone in Britain understand the importance of smart meters and their benefits to people and the environment. We are working in partnership with Smart Energy GB to promote smart meters nationally to low-income households by providing impartial advice and support about smart meters, their benefits, how to get a smart meter and answer any questions you may have.

Further information about smart meters and the smart meter rollout campaign can be found on Smart Energy GB website.

Want to speak to us about smart meters? Call our smart meter specialist free on

0800 107 1762