Smart meter accuracy: is my smart meter accurate?
With a smart meter, you won’t have to spend your time submitting meter readings or worrying about estimated bills. You’ll receive bills based on what you’re actually using. But if you’re concerned about just how accurate those bills will be, read on.
Are smart meters accurate: will you receive accurate bills with a smart meter?
Yes! With a smart meter, you’ll receive accurate, not estimated bills – meaning you only pay for the energy you use.
Smart meters securely send automatic meter readings to your energy supplier. Your smart meter can send readings every day, every half an hour, or, in some cases, every month.
With these regular automatic meter readings, your supplier can send you accurate bills. And you don’t even need to take a manual reading. Pretty smart, right?
When you get a smart meter installed, you’ll also be offered an in-home display. This is a handheld, portable screen that shows you how much energy you're using in pounds and pence.
Got a smart meter, but still receiving estimated bills?
There are a couple of reasons you could be receiving estimated bills with a smart meter:
- If you have recently had your smart meter installed, the first bill after the installation may still be estimated. This is expected and should be fixed in time for your next bill. After this, you should have accurate bills.
- If you get many estimated bills after getting a smart meter, there could be another reason for this. For example, if you have an older type of smart meter, switching energy suppliers might mean you temporarily get estimated bills. Read our page about switching supplier with a smart meter to find out more.
If your first-generation meter does lose smart function, you might need to send your meter readings to get an accurate bill. But this is a temporary situation. With a second-generation meter, switching energy suppliers should not interrupt your meter readings. This means no interruption to your energy readings, bill payments or gas and electricity supply. The majority of customers requesting a smart meter now get a second-generation meter.
How accurate are smart meters?
Smart meters are as accurate as traditional meters. By law, all smart meters have to be approved by and certified by the Office of Product Safety & Standards to prove their accuracy. If you get a smart meter, it will be just as accurate as the meter it’s replacing.
If you believe that there's a fault with your smart meter you can report it to your energy supplier in the same way you would with a traditional meter. You can find your energy supplier using the tool below.
Can smart meters be wrong?
Because smart meters are as accurate as traditional meters, they are no more likely to be wrong than traditional meters. But if you think your smart meter is wrong, or you’re worried your smart meter is not accurate, you should report this to your energy supplier.
What to do if you're concerned your smart meter is not accurate
If you think that the bills generated by your smart meter are not accurate
If you’re concerned that you’re receiving higher bills following a smart meter installation, it could be because you were previously receiving low estimates from your energy supplier, and your smart meter is now tracking your energy use accurately.
For issues with smart meters, if you have spoken to your energy supplier about your meter readings but are not satisfied, you can request an independent test of your meter.
The test is free to begin with. But you may have to pay your energy supplier for organising it if your meter is found to be working correctly. You can find out more from the government’s guidance on electricity meter accuracy testing and gas meter accuracy testing.
If you think the information on your in-home display or your smart meter is not accurate
Your in-home display should show you how much energy you’re using in pounds and pence. They should also show your standing charge, but which depends on your tariff and supplier. If you compare the amount of energy you’re using on your in-home display with your monthly or quarterly bill, you should see a relationship. Although your in-home display may not show any discounts or ad hoc charges.
Is my smart meter accurate? How to check
How do you know if your smart meter is accurate? If you’re concerned your in-home display isn’t showing the right information, for example, if you think your smart meter is showing the wrong tariff, you can first check the following:
- Ensure the tariff information on your in-home display matches your tariff on your bill or new contract. This includes the tariff name, unit rate and standing charge.
- Check that the meter readings on your in-home display are similar to the ones on your meters
If these are both showing correctly on your in-home display, then it will be presenting the correct energy usage data for your home.
If the meter readings don’t look similar, or if your in-home display is showing the wrong tariff, speak to your energy supplier to get this resolved.
But if you’ve just had your smart meter installed, it can take a little while for the in-home display to provide the right information. And the readings on it usually take a bit longer to update than the ones on your meters - this delay is normal.
You may also be interested in…
- How to get a smart meter – the three main steps to get a smart meter.
- How to read a smart meter – smart meter in-home displays can differ from one supplier to another, but they all have the same basic functions.
- How smart meters are helping people save - find out how others across Britain are saving money and energy with their smart meters.