SMART METERS AND WI-FI
Are you thinking about getting a smart meter, but still have some doubts? If you’re wondering how a smart meter sends and receives information, we’ve got the answers. Read on to find the answers to all of your questions about smart meters and Wi-Fi.
HOW DOES THE SMART METER SEND AND RECEIVE INFORMATION?
A smart meter installation combines different devices. For most homes, this will be: an electricity smart meter, a gas smart meter, a communications hub, and an in-home display. Some homes that do not have a gas supply from the main grid will not receive a gas smart meter.
The communications hub creates a network which links the in-home display with the smart meters, and separately links the smart meters with the energy supplier.
The energy usage information is sent to the supplier directly from the communications hub using this dedicated network which is managed by the DCC.
HOW DOES THE IN-HOME DISPLAY WORK?
At the point of installation, domestic customers will be offered an in-home display. This device shows in near real time how much gas and electricity you’re using in kilowatt hours (kWh), as well as what it’s costing you in pounds and pence.
The in-home display receives information from the smart meter via the dedicated network set up by the communications hub. The secure connection between the smart meters and in-home display is used only to communicate between these two devices. So, it doesn’t need to use the internet or wi-fi.
DO SMART METERS USE WIFI?
Smart meters don’t need, or use the internet, to transmit information to either your in-home display, the DCC (the organisation that manages the secure communications network) or your energy supplier.
Your suppliers may offer you an app or online portals to see your energy usage data, and while this will use the internet, it doesn’t affect the way your smart meter communicates with your supplier. Contact your supplier directly to find out if this is part of your supplier’s offering.
WILL MY WIFI CONNECTION BE AFFECTED BY MY SMART METER?
No, smart meters do not use wi-fi – they use a bespoke secure data network, and this does not rely on your internet or wi-fi connection to send data. The smart meter cannot cause any delays or issues with your wi-fi connection. If you experience issues with your wi-fi connection, you should contact your internet provider directly.
IS MY INFORMATION SAFE WITH A SMART METER?
Your smart meter holds information about how much gas and electricity you've used, and what tariff you've chosen. It doesn't transmit other personal information that could identify you, such as your name, address or bank account.
This data is transmitted safely, using a dedicated and secure wireless network. You can change your preference for how often you share meter readings by getting in contact with your supplier directly. If you have given them permission to do so, your energy supplier may also use this information to offer you tailored energy efficiency advice and improve the service they provide for you.
Find out more about how smart meters use your information.
WILL MY WI-FI BE TURNED OFF WHEN MY SMART METER IS INSTALLED?
During installation, your electricity supply will need to be turned off for up to an hour to allow for installation of your smart meter. This will mean your router is turned off during this time. Your supplier may offer a portable battery to allow your internet connection to remain live – you should discuss this with your supplier during the installation appointment booking process.