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Smart meters are a safe and reliable addition to your home. Here we answer all your frequently asked questions – from how smart meters communicate with suppliers, to how they store and share information.
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HOW DOES A SMART METER SEND MY METER READINGS?

Smart meters don’t use the internet – instead, they have their own secure communications system. This bespoke wireless connection shares energy-use data directly with the DCC who authenticate the information and share this directly with your supplier, meaning you get accurate, not estimated, bills.

Smart meters measure the total amount of energy used by your property – it doesn’t know what individual devices are using.

HOW OFTEN WILL MY SMART METER SEND METER READINGS?

Currently you can decide how often your smart meter sends readings – anything from half hourly, to daily or monthly. A new policy on timings of sharing smart meter readings is being introduced. This is designed to encourage suppliers to develop and offer new tariffs and innovations that help consumers lower their bills.

As a result, there will be a change in how often your smart meter sends readings. Domestic customers who are already using a smart meter can remain on their current monthly readings for submitting energy data to their supplier. For new customers, or existing customers who change contract or switch suppliers, you will now default to half-hourly meter readings. This means meter readings will be sent every half-hour, unless you opt out to send it daily.

 

SO, HOW DO SMART METERS WORK?

Smart meters use a secure smart data network (managed by the DCC) to automatically and wirelessly send usage readings to your energy supplier at least once a month, so you receive accurate, not estimated bills. After your smart meters is installed, domestic customers will be offered an in-home display that shows you exactly how much energy you're using in pounds and pence, in near real time.

Smart meters send and receive information in a similar way to how your mobile phone sends and receives text messages. This wireless connection has been built to be extremely secure and is encrypted to prevent hackers being able to access your information.

CAN MY SMART METER BE HACKED?

Smart meters are secure. Security has been at the heart of the whole smart meter rollout programme from its very inception, and the system has been specifically designed to prevent hacking as far as possible. While no electronic device can be 100% protected from hacking, smart meters are as safe as possible.

There is a security process that each type of smart meters must go through that is led by GCHQ and the National Cyber Security Centre. The NCSC conducts testing to check that the security functions of the smart meter meets the required standards. If the smart meter doesn’t pass this process, it can’t be installed in homes. You can find out more about the scheme on the NCSC website.

IS MY PERSONAL INFORMATION SAFE WITH A SMART METER?

Your smart meter holds information about how much gas and electricity you've used, and what tariff you've chosen. It doesn't transmit personal information that could identify you, such as your name, address or bank account details.

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The meter readings collected by your smart meter can only be shared with your energy supplier to allow them to prepare an accurate bill, and they cannot share this further without your permission. Some anonymised information is shared wider to assist with managing demand for energy, but this information cannot be linked back to you as an individual. The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy have created the Data Access and Privacy Framework that sets out the principals for keeping smart meters secure. The central principle of the framework is that customers have control over who can access their data, except where this is required for supplying meter readings.

All this information about your energy use is strongly protected. The data is transmitted safely, using a 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. If you have given them permission to do so, your energy supplier may also use this information to offer you tailored energy efficiency advice and improve the service they provide for you.

IS MY SMART METER LISTENING TO ME?

No. Smart meters don’t have any video or audio recording components within them, and therefore can’t record anything you do at home. Smart meters are usually installed in the same place as your analogue meter- this may be in a cupboard. Inside your home you may be given an in-home display. This device simply shows you the data being read by your smart meter – it has no other way of sharing or recording information.

Smart meters can only measure the total amount of energy used by your household – it can’t know which individual devices you are using, or how much energy devices in your home use.

CAN MY SMART METER CUT OFF MY POWER?

There is no difference in regulation of energy supply between smart and traditional (analogue) meters. If any changes are made to your energy contract, these would be separate to the process of smart meter installation. If your contract does change for any reason, it may affect your smart meter– for example, changing to a prepay contract. You would be informed about any changes to your contract by your supplier and they will discuss the impact of these.

Energy companies must not disconnect a domestic customer who has not paid their bills unless they have first taken all reasonable steps to recover those charges through a payment plan. There are also a number of circumstances where energy supply must not be switched off . The process of turning off supply to a smart meter may be different as a home visit for this is not necessarily required, although there is likely to be a visit anyway for debt collection reasons.

You might have heard about HCALC Switch (HAN Connected Auxiliary Load Control Switch). This scheme would be on an opt-in basis, and users would need to be fully informed before opting in. If you choose not to opt-in, then there will be no difference to your service.

If you experience temporary disconnection because of a power cut, dial 105, the free power cut line or visit PowerCut105.com. If your energy is cut off remotely, you may be able to access compensation from your network operator under the Guaranteed Standards.

Find out more about your rights when it comes to disconnecting energy supply on the Ofgem and Citizens Advice websites.

Smart meters are safe, easy to use and could help you save money. Ready to get yours? Simply enter your energy supplier’s name below and we’ll get you started:

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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 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 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 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 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 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 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.