How does a smart meter work? Smart meters take your gas and electricity readings in real-time by automatically sending your usage directly to your network and supplier, as opposed to “dumb” meters which require regular readings to be manually taken and provided. Although smart meters are supposed to provide an automated and seamless process, it is still encouraged to take readings yourself to ensure complete accuracy. If this is the case, it begs the question, are smart meters really that smart? Let’s explore in this blog.
For starters, smart meters have a few restrictions; they are only “smart” for electricity and dual fuel (gas and electricity) but not for water or standalone gas. To complicate matters further, the dual fuel only works if you are with the same supplier for both utilities. With so much red tape just to get an automatic reading, it’s no wonder we’re still having to put in the manual work.
When working efficiently however, the smart meter offers the end user various benefits, such as being able to track usage more accurately and only ever paying for what is used rather than basing payments on an estimate. You can have a smart meter whether you have a monthly contract or if you are on a pre-payment meter, and if you are a pre-payment customer you will be able to see how much credit you have left and top up more easily.
Do you have to have a smart meter? There is no legal requirement to have a smart meter, but it is a government initiative to roll them out throughout the UK. It is said that all homes and offices will have been offered one by the end of 2024. However, as with all technology, smart meters have developed and we now have a second-generation smart meter (SMETS2) which is more advanced. If you don’t want to wait until the end of 2024 to be offered a smart meter, or if you need to upgrade to the next-gen model, we can be of service. We offer smart meter installation, please call our dedicated team on 0330 041 4925 to find out more.