A smart meter is a new generation gas and electricity meter that is being installed by suppliers in England, Wales and Scotland.
The meter allows the suppliers to know how much energy you are consuming in real time. This means you no longer need to take meter readings from the meter display which is the case for non smart i.e. dumb meters, where you have to take a meter reading from the display of the meter and provide the reading to your energy supplier so they can bill you for you for the actual amount of energy you consumed. If you do not provide these readings to your supplier then they will simply estimate your consumption.
The smart meter also comes with an real time energy display that shows the volume of energy and cost in real time. Although this is not an integral part of the smart meter, you can opt out from having one installed.
For more information on what is a smart meter check out our video below.
You can request a smart meter from your energy supplier, alternatively Smart Energy GB are the body responsible for the roll out of smart meters across the UK and the links below can be used to make a request to have smart meter installed by your supplier:
When you visit the suppliers website to book for a smart meter install, you will need to book a date and time for the install. On the date and time of the install, you will need to provide your supplier with access to your property to carry out the works and complete the smart meter installation.
Below are a few reasons why having a smart meter is a positive thing:
Yes there are. Smart meters are split into 2 separate groups known as Smets 1 and 2 whereby the acronym “Smets” stands for “Smart Metering Equipment Technical Specifications”.
Smart Metering Equipment Technical Specifications (Smets) 1
These are the earlier generation smart meters that were rolled out in 2016 and they comprise of the following:
Smart Metering Equipment Technical Specifications (Smets) 2
These are second generation smart meters which are very similar to Smets 1 meters. The only difference is that these meters communicate over a government data network so more suppliers are able to support these meters. So if you do have a Smets 2 meter and switch suppliers, it is more likely that your new supplier will be able to support this meter and it will retain its smart functionality.
Supplier read smart meters in accordance to the following:
Smets 1 – 3G via a sim card embedded in the meter.
Smets 2 – via a secure government data network
Due to the 3G communication setup, these meters can only be operated by a number of suppliers. So if you switch to a supplier (generally medium to smaller suppliers) that cannot support this meter then the meter reverts back to a dumb meter where you have to take meter readings from the display of the meter and provide them to your supplier so they can bill you based on your actual energy usage.
If you do have a Smets 2 meter and switch suppliers, it is more likely that your new supplier will be able to support this meter and it will retain its smart functionality.
If you have a Smets 1 or 2 meter and looking to switch suppliers and want to know if your meter will retain its smart functionality the best way to confirm this is to contact the new supplier to confirm whether they support Smets 2 meters.
Below is a list of all the suppliers who support Smets 1 & 2 meters and who are currently rolling them out. We recommend that you contact the supplier first to confirm that they do support the smart meter that you have or to confirm that they are rolling them out in case you want to have one installed.
|Supplier||Smets 1||Smets 2||Smart meter roll out|
|British Gas||Yes||Yes||Smets 1 & 2|
|Cooperative Energy||Yes||Yes||Smets 2|
|Green Star Energy||Yes||Smets 2|
|Octopus Energy||Yes||Yes||Smets 2|
|Ovo Energy||Yes||Yes||Smets 2|
|Pure Planet||Yes||Smets 2|
|Scottish Power||Yes||Yes||Smets 2|
|Shell Energy||Yes||Yes||Smets 2|
|Spark Energy||Yes||Smets 2|
|Utility Warehouse||Yes||Yes||Smets 2|
Having a smart meter is optional and you are under no legal obligation to have one, however suppliers are now making it a requirement that you have a smart meter in order to sign up to their new tariffs so you may not be able to take advantage of cheaper energy prices if you opt to not have one.
No, all smart meter installations are free and paid for by the suppliers.
By signing up to our service you do not need to find the best tariff we do it for you and once we found the right one for you we automatically switch you to it. For more information visit our home page so you can start saving now.
This is a difficult question to answer however some experts would argue that having a smart meter means your energy data will be more readily available for you to review and assess which in turn will help influence your behaviour and decisions to reduce your energy costs.