Wifi and smart meters: Does a smart meter need wifi?
Wifi is not required for smart meters to work. If you want to know more about how smart meters share information or how smart meters interact with wifi, you’re in the right place. Read on to find answers to questions, like “do I need wifi for a smart meter?” and “will a smart meter affect my wifi?”.
Do smart meters use wifi?
No, smart meters don’t use wifi, and they don’t need wifi to work. Wifi is not needed for smart meter installation, and you won’t need wifi to use your smart meter once it’s installed. Smart meters use their own dedicated network to share information.
Do you need internet for a smart meter?
Smart meters don’t use the internet to share data, so they don’t need any kind of internet connection to work. Instead, smart meters use a secure network managed by the DCC. Smart meters use this network to share information with in-home-displays and energy suppliers.
Your suppliers may offer you an app or online portals to see your energy usage data. While these use the internet, they don't change the way your smart meter talks to your supplier. Contact your supplier to find out if this is something they offer.
So, if they don’t use wifi, how do smart meters send and receive data?
Instead of using wifi, smart meters share data with the in-home display and suppliers using secure networks, which are managed by the DCC.
Most homes with smart meters have the following: 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 won’t have a gas smart meter.
The communications hub creates a network, called the Home Area Network. This links the in-home display with the smart meters. The Wide Area Network is how the communications hub sends the meter readings to the energy supplier. The communications hub sends energy use information to the supplier using this secure network.
The networks that smart meters use are secure. Only you and your energy supplier can access the data smart meters share. Learn more by reading our smart meter data collection guide.
How does the in-home display work?
At the point of installation, households will be offered an in-home display (IHD). This device shows in near real-time how much gas and electricity you’re using, and what it’s costing you.
The IHD receives information from the smart meter via the secure network. The secure connection between the smart meters and in-home display is only used to communicate between these two devices. So, it doesn’t need to use the internet or wi-fi.
Is my information safe with a smart meter?
Smart meters are safe and secure. The only information a smart meter holds is about how much energy you've used, and what tariff you're on. It doesn't hold personal information that could identify you, such as your name or address.
Smart meters share your energy usage using the 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.
Will a smart meter affect my wifi?
No – because smart meters do not use wi-fi, a smart meter should not cause any delays or issues with your wi-fi connection. If you experience issues with your wi-fi connection, contact your internet provider directly.
All smart meters installed as part of the national rollout follow UK and EU product safety legislation. This covers the correct use of radio equipment and emissions. As such, smart meters should not interfere with other appliances in your home, including your wifi.
Will my wifi 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 wifi router will be turned off during this time.
Conclusion: do you need wifi for a smart meter?
No, you don’t need wifi for a smart meter. Smart meters don’t use wifi to send information to your energy supplier. You don’t need wifi to use the in-home display either. You can benefit from automatic meter readings and tracking your energy usage, whether you have wifi or not.