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MYTHBUSTING SMART METER PROBLEMS & ISSUES

From whether smart meters let you switch energy suppliers to whether they pose a risk to health, we set the record straight on the key concerns.

1. 'YOU CAN'T SWITCH SUPPLIER'

You can switch energy supplier with a smart meter. And with a new second-generation meter, you will be able to switch and keep all of your smart functions with no interruption.

If you have an older, first-generation smart meter, there’s a chance it will lose some smart functions for a little while but you can still switch energy supplier. Many people with one of these meters will have a seamless switching experience, but others may have to temporarily send meter readings again.

This can be frustrating, but your meter will still continue to accurately measure your usage as before, even if your in-home display may temporarily not show it.

• Find out more: It’s quick and easy to change supplier with a smart meter.

2. 'SMART METERS POSE A RADIATION RISK'

Smart meters use short bursts of radio waves to allow readings to be taken remotely from gas and electricity meters. Some people fear that the radiation they emit is a health risk, but Public Health England (PHE) – the Government watchdog on public health – says they pose no risk to public health.

As Dr Azadeh Peyman, principal radiation protection scientist at PHE, says: “We don’t consider that concerns regarding exposure should prevent people from having a smart meter.” She also says that “the level of radio waves they (smart meters) produce is typically one million times less than the internationally agreed guidelines.”

• For more information, see our full article on Smart meters and your health: the truth.

3. 'SMART METERS AREN'T SAFE'

Smart meters comply with UK and EU safety standards, and are fitted by trained installers.

When fitting a smart meter, installers will also perform visual safety checks to identify signs of risk in your gas appliances, at no extra cost. In fact, 1,444,000 safety issues unrelated to smart metering were identified by installers as part of a free visual safety check between the beginning of 2017 to the end of May 2021. These safety checks help to protect households across Great Britain.

• For fuller detail, take a look at Smart meters are safe and reliable.

4. 'SMART METERS CAN SPY ON YOU'

A smart meter neither sees nor hears; it can only measure the amount of gas and electricity you use. And it’s up to you to decide how often you share your meter readings with your energy supplier, ranging from half-hourly, daily or monthly.

Personal details, such as your name, address and bank account details are neither stored on nor transmitted by your smart meter. Plus, your supplier can’t use any data from your smart meter for sales and marketing purposes unless you give them permission to do so.

Smart meters were designed in consultation with the UK’s top security experts. They’re not connected to the internet – instead, they operate on their own secure wireless smart data network. Your energy readings are encrypted and sent to your supplier in a similar way to how your mobile phone sends and receives information.

5. 'NOT ALL HOMES CAN HAVE A SMART METER'

Older first-generation smart meters (SMETS1) use a SIM card to communicate with energy suppliers via mobile phone networks. So if you live in an area with poor mobile reception, a SMETS1 meter may struggle sending readings to your supplier automatically.

The new second-generation meters (SMETS2), on the other hand, operate on a new smart data network which isn’t reliant upon mobile phones. This new network will cover more than 99.25% of Great Britain by the end of rollout.

If you have a SMETS1 meter, these will either be migrated into the new smart data network or replaced with a SMETS2 meter by the end of the rollout. This process has begun and is being completed in batches, and you can ask your supplier about when it expects to do this.

6. 'RENTERS CAN'T GET A SMART METER'

The gas and electricity meter in your home belongs to your energy supplier, and if you pay the bills you’re entitled to ask it for a smart meter. However, Ofgem recommends telling your landlord before getting one, just in case there are any rules in your tenancy agreement about how energy is supplied to the property.

If you’re a landlord and you pay the energy bills directly for your tenants and are the account holder, you’ll be the one to confirm the energy supplier’s request to install a new smart meter in your property. You’re also entitled to request a smart meter for your property from your supplier.

• Smart meters have lots of benefits. To find out what these are, read our articles on personal benefits as well as national gains.

7. 'SMART METERS ARE NOT ACCESSIBLE FOR THE BLIND OR PARTIALLY SIGHTED'

An ‘accessible’ in-home display with additional features has been developed in partnership with the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) and includes features such as large buttons and text-to-speech functionality.

The accessible in-home display has been developed to allow more customers, including those who are blind or partially sighted, to access the benefits of smart metering, such as helping consumers understand and reduce their energy consumption and costs.

Depending on the severity of the condition, some people may find that the accessible in-home display meets their needs better than a regular in-home display.

• Find out more: The accessible in-home display.

Request your smart meter

Join the millions of Brits already helping to create a smarter future. Simply type your energy supplier in the box below and we'll redirect you to their website.

We believe that Octopus Energy is now responsible for Affect Energy customers. Therefore we are connecting you with Octopus Energy who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We don't currently have information from your energy supplier regarding their bookings for smart meters, but we will connect you to their website so you can contact them directly.

We believe that British Gas is now responsible for Angelic Energy customers. Therefore we are connecting you with British Gas who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We believe that SSE is now responsible for Atlantic Energy customers. Therefore we are connecting you with SSE who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

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We believe that Together Energy is now responsible for Bristol Energy customers. Therefore we will connect you with Together Energy who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We believe that SSE are responsible for Cardiff Energy customers. Therefore we are connecting you with SSE who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We believe that British Gas is now responsible for CitizEn Energy customers. Therefore we are connecting you with British Gas who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We believe that Octopus Energy is now responsible for Co-op Energy customers. Therefore we are connecting you with Octopus Energy who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We believe that Scottish Power is now responsible for Daisy Energy customers. Therefore we are connecting you with Scottish Power who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We believe that OVO Energy are responsible for Economy Energy credit customers. Therefore we are connecting you with OVO Energy who will be responsible for taking your request forward. If you are a prepay customer you will need to contact Boost, who will be responsible for taking you request forward.

We believe that Octopus Energy is now responsible for Engie customers. Therefore we are connecting you with Octopus Energy who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We don't currently have information from your energy supplier regarding their bookings for smart meters, but we will connect you to their website so you can contact them directly.

We don't currently have information from your energy supplier regarding their bookings for smart meters, but we will connect you to their website so you can contact them directly.

We believe that Utilita is now responsible for Eversmart customers. Therefore we are connecting you with Utilita who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

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We believe that Shell Energy Retail is now responsible for First Utility customers. Therefore we are connecting you with Shell Energy Retail who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We believe that British Gas is now responsible for Fosse Energy customers. Therefore we are connecting you with British Gas who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We believe that Green Star Energy is now responsible for Future Energy customers. Therefore we are connecting you with Green Star Energy who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We believe that Octopus Energy is now responsible for Gen4U customers. Therefore we are connecting you with Octopus Energy who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We don't currently have information from your energy supplier regarding their bookings for smart meters, but we will connect you to their website so you can contact them directly.

We believe that Bulb Energy is now responsible for GnErgy customers. Therefore we will connect you with Bulb who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We don't currently have information from your energy supplier regarding their bookings for smart meters, but we will connect you to their website so you can contact them directly.

We don't currently have information from your energy supplier regarding their bookings for smart meters, but we will connect you to their website so you can contact them directly.

We believe that British Gas is now responsible for Great North Energy customers. Therefore we are connecting you with British Gas who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We don't currently have information from your energy supplier regarding their bookings for smart meters, but we will connect you to their website so you can contact them directly.

We believe that EDF Energy is now responsible for Green Network Energy customers. Therefore we will connect you with EDF Energy who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We don't currently have information from your energy supplier regarding their bookings for smart meters, but we will connect you to their website so you can contact them directly.

We don't currently have information from your energy supplier regarding their bookings for smart meters, but we will connect you to their website so you can contact them directly.

We don't currently have information from your energy supplier regarding their bookings for smart meters, but we will connect you to their website so you can contact them directly.

We don't currently have information from your energy supplier regarding their bookings for smart meters, but we will connect you to their website so you can contact them directly.

We believe that Octopus Energy is now responsible for Iresa customers. Therefore we are connecting you with Octopus Energy who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We believe that EDF Energy is now responsible for iSupply Energy customers. Therefore we are connecting you with EDF Energy who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We don't currently have information from your energy supplier regarding their bookings for smart meters, but we will connect you to their website so you can contact them directly.

We don't currently have information from your energy supplier regarding their bookings for smart meters, but we will connect you to their website so you can contact them directly.

We believe that OVO Energy is now responsible for Lumo customers. Therefore we are connecting you with OVO Energy who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We don't currently have information from your energy supplier regarding their bookings for smart meters, but we will connect you to their website so you can contact them directly.

We believe that E.ON is now responsible for Npower Select customers. Therefore we will connect you with E.ON who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We believe that Together Energy is now responsible for One Select Energy customers. Therefore we are connecting you with Together Energy who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We don't currently have information from your energy supplier regarding their bookings for smart meters, but we will connect you to their website so you can contact them directly.

We don't currently have information from your energy supplier regarding their bookings for smart meters, but we will connect you to their website so you can contact them directly.

We believe that Utilita is now responsible for Our Power customers. Therefore we are connecting you with Utilita who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We don't currently have information from your energy supplier regarding their bookings for smart meters, but we will connect you to their website so you can contact them directly.

We believe that British Gas is now responsible for PFP Energy customers. Therefore we will connect you with British Gas who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We believe that Octopus Energy is now responsible for Qwest Energy customers. Therefore we are connecting you with Octopus Energy who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We believe that British Gas is now responsible for Ram Energy customers. Therefore we are connecting you with British Gas who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We believe that British Gas is now responsible for Robin Hood Energy customers. Therefore we will connect you with British Gas who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

Scottish Gas have told us that British Gas is responsible for providing smart meters on their behalf. Therefore we are connecting you with British Gas who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

Scottish Hydro have told us that SSE is responsible for providing smart meters on their behalf. Therefore we are connecting you with SSE who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We believe that British Gas is now responsible for Simplicity Energy customers. Therefore we will connect you with British Gas who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We believe that SSE is now responsible for Spark Energy customers. Therefore we will connect you with SSE who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We believe that British Gas is now responsible for Southend Energy customers. Therefore we are connecting you with British Gas who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We believe that Nabuh Energy is now responsible for Snowdrop Energy customers. Therefore we are connecting you with Nabuh Energy who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We don't currently have information from your energy supplier regarding their bookings for smart meters, but we will connect you to their website so you can contact them directly.

We don't currently have information from your energy supplier regarding their bookings for smart meters, but we will connect you to their website so you can contact them directly.

We believe that EDF are responsible for Solarplicity customers. Therefore we are connecting you with EDF who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

Swalec have told us that SSE is responsible for providing smart meters on their behalf. Therefore we are connecting you with SSE who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We don’t currently have information from your energy supplier regarding their bookings for smart meters, but we will connect you to their website so you can contact them directly.

We believe that British Gas is now responsible for The Leccy customers. Therefore we are connecting you with British Gas who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We don’t currently have information from your energy supplier regarding their bookings for smart meters, but we will connect you to their website so you can contact them directly.

We believe that Scottish Power is now responsible for Tonik Energy customers. Therefore we are connecting you with Scottish Power who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We believe that EDF Energy are responsible for Toto Energy customers. Therefore we are connecting you with EDF Energy who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We believe that Shell Energy Retail is now responsible for Usio Energy customers. Therefore we are connecting you with Shell Energy Retail who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We believe that EDF Energy is now responsible for Utility Point customers. Therefore we will connect you with EDF Energy who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We believe that E.ON are responsible for Wasp Energy customers. Therefore we are connecting you with E.ON who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We believe that British Gas is now responsible for White Rose Energy customers. Therefore we are connecting you with British Gas who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We believe that E.ON are responsible for Wigan Warriors Energy customers. Therefore we are connecting you with E.ON who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We don’t currently have information from your energy supplier regarding their bookings for smart meters online, but we can connect you to them over the phone by calling 0300 131 8000.

We believe that British Gas is now responsible for Your Energy Sussex customers. Therefore we are connecting you with British Gas who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We don’t currently have information from your energy supplier regarding their bookings for smart meters, but we will connect you to their website so you can contact them directly.

We believe that E.ON Next is now responsible for Hub Energy customers. Therefore we will connect you with E.ON Next who will be responsible for taking your request forward.

We believe that British Gas is now responsible for MoneyPlus Energy customers. Therefore we will connect you with British Gas who will be responsible for taking your request forward.