Smart Meters; What You Need to Know
All the Gas and Electricity companies are currently in the process of rolling out “smart meters”. These are meters that automatically send meter readings to your energy supplier. They do this using GPRS technology, just like mobile phones. You will no longer have to provide meter readings and will no longer receive estimated bills.
You will also receive an energy display which shows you how much energy you’re using and gives you a good idea of what it’s costing you. These smart meters are provided free of charge by your energy supplier.
Your gas and electricity meters are owned by your energy supplier, so you do not need Rooftop’s permission for the switch to a smart meter.
Each energy supplier is running its own smart meter roll programme, and they will notify you when they will be carrying out the meter switches in your area. If you want more details you will need to contact your energy supplier.
Most energy suppliers will provide smart meters for customers on both Direct Debit plans as well as Pay-as-You-go plans.
There are a few circumstances where smart meters can’t be installed:
- Existing energy meters aren’t always located in easy-to-reach places, and at the moment it’s not possible to install smart meters for certain types of homes. For example, if you live in a block of flats your meter might be kept with others in a locked cupboard. You might also live a long way up from your meter, meaning the smart energy display can’t get a signal. And some gas meters may even be located underground, meaning the energy supplier cannot get access.
- Some smart meters do not work with solar PV panels. You will need to tell your energy supplier if you have solar PV panels on your roof and they will decide whether their smart meter will be suitable for your property.
Once your energy company has installed your smart meter, they’ll no longer send someone round to carry out meter readings. However, they will still send a technician around every couple of years to make sure that the meter is working properly