FAQs - Safety and security
- Are smart meters safe?
- Yes, 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. Working with government, the energy industry has committed to ensuring the highest health and safety standards during the smart meter rollout including strong systems to make sure any issues are identified and dealt with swiftly. If you have any concerns about your smart or traditional meter you should contact your supplier directly. If you smell gas you should call the national gas emergency number 0800 111 999 immediately.
- How secure are smart meters?
- 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. Smart meters do not use the internet, and they have their own closed, dedicated communications system. Smart meters have been designed with top cyber security experts, including the government and GCHQ, to ensure that security best practice has been incorporated at every stage.
- Will the in-home display only receive information from my meter?
- Yes. Your in-home display is paired with your smart meter by your installer, so it only shows information from your own smart meter. Smart meters have been specifically designed not to interfere with other wireless products in your home, and there is legislation in place to prevent interference.
- Could a smart meter impact my health?
- No. Public Health England sees no risk or dangers to health from smart meters. The smart meters used in Britain have undergone one of the most rigorous smart 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 many times lower than the exposure from Wi-Fi and mobile phones and is well within guideline levels.
- How is my personal data kept safe when I have a smart meter?
Personal information such as your name, address and bank details are not stored on your smart meter. The meters simply record your gas and electricity readings in the same way as your traditional meter. The meter readings collected can only be shared with your energy supplier to allow them to prepare an accurate bill and they cannot share this without your permission. The data is transmitted safely, using a dedicated and secure wireless network. All this information about your energy use is strongly protected. Depending on how often you've agreed to share it with your supplier, your smart meter will send half hourly, daily or monthly meter readings (your usage data). You can change your preference for how often you share this information at any point 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.