Your questions answered
We know that some other media outlets have raised concerns about the national rollout of smart meters, including concerns around the ease of switching suppliers once you have a smart meter.
We at Smart Energy GB are here to make sure all consumers have the facts about smart meters. Here's what you need to know:
What's the story on switching?
All smart meters let you switch suppliers and ultimately, they will make the process easier, faster and more reliable for all. They help you to make better informed decisions and will enable new services which take the hassle out of switching.
SMETS1 and SMETS2
You may have heard that there are two types of smart meter, SMETS1 and SMETS2. Many people with a SMETS1 meter 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.
SMETS2 meters are only in the early stages of rollout but the good news is, the plan is to remotely upgrade SMETS1 meters to bring them into line with SMETS2, so everyone will keep their smart features no matter how many times they switch supplier.
Making Britain safer
People shouldn't be misled into thinking that upgrading their energy meters to smart meters could put their home at risk or that it's any different to having their traditional meter replaced when needed.
More than 10 million smart meters have been installed so far. There have been very few cases where there have been any issues. Every single case is taken very seriously, with lessons identified and learned to improve safety.
Smart meter installations are making homes across Britain safer. Having a smart meter installed is an important opportunity to have a qualified professional in your home making vital safety checks on appliances that may not have been checked for years.
Having a smart meter installed is like getting an MOT for your home
When installers come to your home to install a smart meter they are also looking for potential problems with your electricity and gas, such as defective wiring, broken fuses, or even faulty boilers.
In 2017, smart meter installers discovered more than 270,000 faults in people's homes. These faults could have been potentially life-threatening and might not have been picked up if it were not for smart meter installers. People shouldn't miss out on this important safety check.
Our CEO's story
During our CEO Sacha Deshmukh's smart meter installation, his installer notified him that his home was not earthed, meaning he was at risk of electrocution if any of his appliances were faulty. His installation may well have saved his life.
Installation and training
Smart meter installers are trained to a very high standard for up to two years before they are ready to fit smart meters. They receive mentoring and face regular spot checks on the job to ensure safety standards are being met.
Energy suppliers must also abide by the Smart Meter Installation Code of Practice. This means that smart meter installers are appropriately trained to NVQ level 2 and are acredited by National Skills Academy for Power (NSAP) or their equivalent. Installers are also Gas Safe Registered if they are undertaking gas meter installations.
What are the standards that smart meters have to meet?
Smart meters are covered by strict UK and EU product safety laws. These ensure that smart meters all have the same high quality and safety standards, regardless of your energy supplier.
What health and safety tests have been carried out on smart meters?
The smart meters used in Britain have undergone one of the most rigorous safety testing regimes in the world and exceed every UK and EU safety standard. Public Health England, the government's agency on public health, has said that exposure to radio waves from smart meters is well within guideline levels, and is many times lower than the exposure from wifi and mobile phones.