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Smart meter in-home display on a desk Smart meter in-home display on a desk
Smart meter in-home display

WHAT IS A SMART METER AND HOW DOES IT WORK?

Smart meters measure how much gas and electricity you’re using, as well as what it’s costing you and display this on a handy in-home display.

With a smart meter you can wave goodbye to complicated meter readings. The smart meter shows a digital meter reading and automatically sends the reading to your energy supplier at least once a month, so you will receive accurate, not estimated bills.

Cooking at home with smart meter display nearby

HOW CAN I GET A SMART METER?

Everyone will be offered the opportunity to upgrade to a smart meter by their energy supplier.

Smart meters will be provided and fitted by your energy supplier, along with a handheld in-home display, at no extra cost.

Request your smart meter

Different types of smart meter in-home displays

WHAT DOES A SMART METER LOOK LIKE?

A smart meter comes in two parts and will be installed by your energy supplier(s). Your traditional gas and electric meters will be replaced with smart meters which send your meter readings to your energy supplier(s).

You will also receive an in-home display which will show you how much energy you're using in pounds and pence.

ON AN IN-HOME DISPLAY YOU'LL BE ABLE TO READ:

  • how much energy you’re using in near real time
  • how much energy was used in the last hour, week and month (and what it cost)
  • whether your electricity use is high, medium or low
  • updates in near real time for electricity and every half hour for gas

IF YOU HAVE A PRE-PAY METER IT WILL ALSO SHOW YOU:

  • how much credit you have left
  • how much emergency credit you have
  • your debt balance (if you have one)
  • if your credit’s getting low
Smart meter in-home display and keys

IS MY DATA SAFE?

The data your smart meter captures about your energy usage is strongly protected by law. You have control over it, including the right to decide:

  • how often your smart meter sends data to your energy supplier (monthly is minimum, daily or half-hourly are optional)
  • whether to share data with other organisations, like price comparison websites
  • if your supplier can use your meter readings for sales and marketing purposes

Smart meters were designed in consultation with the UK's top security experts, and can only measure the amount of energy you use. Personal details like your name, address and bank account details are not stored on, or transmitted by, your smart meter.

If you have other concerns about smart meters, take a look at our mythbusting smart meter problems article for the facts.

FAQS

Can I get a smart meter for free?

There is no extra cost for the in-home display. You won't have an extra charge on your bill because you choose to have a smart meter. The costs will be spread across everyone's bills, just like the cost of running and maintaining today's traditional meters are.

Do I need a broadband connection in my home to have a smart meter?

No. Smart meters use an entirely separate, bespoke wireless system. You don't need Wi-Fi in your home for it to work and it won't use your Wi-Fi if you have it. Your smart meter and in-home display communicate via a secure national network which is solely for smart meters. This works in the same way as other wireless systems like car remote keys or TVs, using radio waves.