SMART METERS EXPLAINED
A smart meter is the next generation of a gas and electricity meter. They're being installed by energy suppliers in every home in England, Scotland and Wales. Smart meters come with an in-home display screen that shows you exactly how much energy you're using in pounds and pence, in near real time and will bring an end to estimated bills.
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.
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.
WHAT DOES A SMART METER LOOK LIKE?A smart meter comes in two main 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
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.