DO I HAVE TO GET A SMART METER?
Smart meters are being installed in homes across England, Scotland and Wales. These are replacing the traditional meters in your home. If you haven’t already got a smart meter in your home, you will be offered one by the end of the rollout.
There are many reasons to accept a smart meter, from helping you take control of your energy bills, to environmental and infrastructure benefits. But if you’re unsure, read on to find out if you have to accept a smart meter.
DO I HAVE TO GET A SMART METER INSTALLED?
Smart meters are not compulsory; it's entirely your choice.
The government requires energy suppliers to offer smart meters to all homes and small businesses across Great Britain by the end of 2025, but whether you accept them is completely up to you.
But of course, we recommend that you request a smart meter from your energy supplier for a variety of reasons. Smart meters and the accompanying in-home display could help you save money on your energy bills, and they’re also helping to upgrade Britain's energy system.
Customers who want to benefit from having a smart meter will be able to have one installed by the end of the rollout.
There are many reasons to get a smart meter. Luke lives in a semi-detached house with his family and decided to get a smart meter to help save money on energy bills and monitor their use. When your smart meter is installed, the installer will carry out visual safety-checks which can help discover problems with your appliances that can potentially be dangerous - this is what happened with Luke:
I'm Luke I live in Manchester with my wife and my three-year-old daughter. We live in a semi-detached house.
We decided to get a smart meter to help save money on energy bills, and monitor our use.
With our installation we applied online, and they came out. The engineer assessed our boiler.
We've just had a service few months ago, so I didn't think they'd be any problems but, yeah, they said that there was a dangerous element with our boiler. There's a gap between the boiler and the flue and he put a big red sticker all over it and said it was dangerous to use and we shouldn't be using that boiler. He said you keep it on for now but you really need to get it fixed.
And obviously with a three year old daughter and a wife in the house I couldn't take any chances. So it's good we would never have spotted it otherwise because, like I said, we'd had it serviced and the engineer didn't spot anything. But the smart meter fitter did. So you know could sense a big problem in the future.
Since we've had the smart meter installed, I've definitely found behaviours change around the house. I will literally go around telling lights off and checking for items that are on. On the smart meter it's got a red light, when it comes on if there's too much energy being used or a high proportion of energy being used. So I'll know then something's been left on somewhere in the house, and I'll look around for that and switch off.
Since researching a smart meter and getting a smart meter, it has made more conscious of like my carbon footprint. Which is good for teaching my daughter for the future. It's good to be environment friendly where we can be.
I definitely recommend and smart meter, yes, friends and family. I recommended my dad get one and he's booked to have one fitted. Told everyone really, there's no reason not to get one I don't think.
MY SUPPLIER TELLS ME I HAVE TO GET A SMART METER - DOES THIS MEAN THEY'RE COMPULSORY?
Before the end of the rollout, energy suppliers should meet targets set by the government to install smart meters in their customers’ homes. And different energy suppliers may find various ways to encourage their customers to accept a smart meter. But it is up to you whether you accept one or not.
Some energy suppliers are offering their customers smart meter only tariffs which require that the customer have a smart meter installed. Each supplier will have their own terms and conditions for these tariffs. For example, if you have a smart meter, you can choose a smart time-of-use tariff, which offers a different price of energy at different times of the day.
Your energy supplier is best placed to answer any questions you have relating to your particular tariff, as they will be able to provide you with more specific information about your circumstances.
You can find your energy supplier by typing their name below:
I FEEL THAT MY SUPPLIER IS BULLYING ME INTO GETTING SMART METER
Energy suppliers should meet targets set by the government to install smart meters in their customers’ homes. As the rollout continues, energy suppliers will need to find new ways to install smart meters in every home in Great Britain. But this is up to each individual energy supplier how they encourage their customers to get one. So your communication could be different with different suppliers.
There could be occasions where you will need to have a smart meter installed, for example in an emergency situation, or if your traditional meter has come to the end of its life and is no longer working. But this will be communicated to you by your supplier.
ARE SMART METERS GOING TO BECOME COMPULSORY?
Whilst smart meters are not currently compulsory, in the future it is likely that every household in Great Britain will have a smart meter.
There are a variety of reasons for this, including the fact that the government has a yearly target of smart meters which have to be installed every year by energy suppliers. As suppliers continue to meet this threshold, more and more households will have smart meters.
And as smart meters replace traditional analogue meters, the production of analogue meters will be reduced, or totally phased out. So, if your meter comes to the end of its life, the only option will be to replace it with a smart meter.
This is great news for our smart energy system. With more smart meter data, the smart energy system will be enabled to:
- identify and respond to power outages more quickly
- better balance supply with demand, which then helps to...
- reduce waste - in fact, the government predicts that the smart meter rollout could save £650m*
- enable energy suppliers to draw on more sources of local and renewable energy
*Requires consumer action
WILL THE SMART METER INSTALLER TRY TO SELL ME OTHER PRODUCTS OR SERVICES?
According to SMICoP (the Smart Metering Installation Code of Practice), your energy supplier must have your consent before the installation visit to discuss any purchasable good or services with you. And any marketing must be stopped as soon as you request. So you can feel in control, knowing you can simply book your smart meter installation without receiving any other marketing.
And for even more peace of mind, no sales transactions can be carried out at the installation visit for domestic customers.
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
Our site is packed with all the essential smart meter info you need – find out more:
- Ultimate energy saving tips guide - make these simple changes in your home to reduce your electricity and gas usage
- Smart meter benefits for you - smart meters could help you make sense of you energy usage, and there is more
- The installation process - your energy supplier will install your smart meter at no extra cost and the installation only takes a couple of hours, so you'll be up and running in no time