Should I get a smart meter?
The DCC, along with our partners across the industry, is digitising Britain’s energy system. Smart meters play a key role in this effort and bring a number of benefits to consumers. From providing transparency of how much energy you're using, to more accurate bills and enabling consumers to switch energy supplier with ease, there are plenty of reasons why a smart meter is right for you.
Smarter, greener lives
Accelerating the transition to greener living
The data provided by your smart meter allows you to be more aware of your energy usage, meaning you can take energy-saving steps to reduce your CO2 emissions and play your part in Britain’s journey to Net Zero.
The power of a smart grid...
If you own an electric vehicle and solar panels, it’s greener and more energy efficient to charge your car using your solar panels during the day. Once it gets dark, you’ll need power from the grid. Informed by the data from smart meters and the DCC network, the grid can act smart – charging your car when the electricity’s cheapest, and helping ensure that renewable energy is used as far as possible.
Did you know the smart meters connected to our network save an estimated 1 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year!
The positives of having a smart meter
More accurate billing
Smart meters automatically send accurate readings directly to your energy supplier, meaning you only pay for the energy that you’ve used. Traditional (non-smart) energy meters rely on you taking manual meter readings and submitting them to your supplier, and if you don’t do this on time your bill will be estimated based on your previous energy usage, which isn't always accurate.
Everyone who gets a smart meter installed will be provided with an in-home display (IHD for short). With near real-time data, you’re in-home display will show you exactly how much energy you're using. Armed with that information, you can make plans to lower your gas and electricity use.
Faster, more reliable switching
It would previously take up to three weeks to switch your gas or electricity supplier and many people felt that the process was too complicated, too slow and too often went wrong. The DCC network – the digital spine of Britain’s energy system – and the Central Switching Service, which was created in collaboration with Ofgem, changes that. The switching service, enables consumers to change supplier faster, more reliably and more efficiently. Consumers are able to transfer data, payment details and account information within five working days, and will later be able to switch within 24 hours.
Migrating first generation smart meters
A long-standing issue with first generation (SMETS1) smart meters was the fact that they would ‘go dumb’ if you switched supplier, losing ‘smart’ functionality and therefore no longer send meter readings automatically. This meant that consumers would have to send readings manually or face estimated bills. We’re working closely with energy suppliers to migrate more than 16 million SMETS1 smart meters onto our network, so this will become an issue of the past – as it already has for millions of households with SMETS1 smart meters.
Reusing the smart meter network
The DCC’s secure smart meter network has the potential to provide a flexible EV smart charging system, focused on home and workplace charging, incorporating high levels of cybersecurity and proportional load control capability.
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Get the facts about smart meters
Can my smart meter be hacked and is my data safe?
The smart meter network has been built to the highest security standard which has been reviewed by the National Cyber Security Centre. It uses high levels of encryption, and the most important data passes over our network without us having the ability to see it. 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. Only your energy supplier can see how much gas and electricity you are using and when.
Are smart meters bad for your 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. For more information, visit 'Smart meters and your health: the truth'.
Can smart meters cause fires?
No, smart meters do not cause fires. They're 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 do smart meters work?
There are millions of smart meters connected to the DCC’s secure network, bringing consumers and energy suppliers closer to their data. But how do smart meters work? How do they send readings? Who can access the data?
Find out more about getting a smart meter
Visit Smart Energy GB's website to find out more about the benefits of getting a smart meter.
Smart Energy GB
Smart Energy GB is the not-for-profit campaign helping everyone in Britain understand the importance of smart meters and their benefits to people and the environment.