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Smart meters are the new generation of gas and electricity meters. They show you the amount of energy you use in near real time and how much you are spending in pounds and pence.

What are Smart Meters?

They are being installed in homes across Great Britain at no extra cost, to replace the traditional meters, including prepayment meters, most of us currently have ticking away under the stairs, or outside our homes. They are smart because they will show you the amount of energy you use in near real time and how much you are spending in pounds and pence.

What do smart meters do?

A smart meter sends automatic meter readings directly and securely to your energy supplier, so that you get accurate bills - and put an end to estimates and manual meter readings.

You'll also have an easy-to-understand portable display that shows you exactly what you're spending in pounds and pence and in near real time. So the next time your energy bill comes through the door you'll already know exactly what's in it and you've taken control of your energy bills:

Use your smart meter to:

• see what you're spending - in pounds and pence

• know how much gas and electricity you're using

• save energy and cut your costs

You can work out which appliances are guzzling the most energy. Or show the kids the difference it can make when they remember to turn the lights off.
Only a gas and electricity smart meter can show you what you're spending in pounds and pence in near real time. And only a smart meter can get you accurate bills from your energy supplier.

When and where is the rollout happening?

The smart meter rollout is happening across Great Britain between now and 2020. Energy suppliers will install over 53 million smart meters in over 30 million homes and microbusinesses.

Suppliers are rolling out smart meters to their customers at different times. When you can get one depends on many different factors, including the age of your existing meter and the type of home you live in.

I'm on pre-pay - can I get a smart meter?

Yes.

Smart meters will make prepay as easy as pay-as-you-go on your mobile. Some suppliers are already rolling out smart prepay meters and in the future, all smart meters will be able to switch between credit and prepayment modes.

With smart prepay, you should be able to:

• see how much credit is left on your smart meter in-home display, without having to manually read or access the meter

• top up when and where you want to - online, with an app, on the telephone, or via text message

• top up in person at your local store/outlet, without any need to put a key or card back into a meter. Payments will automatically be added to your account. You will always be able   to top up with cash

• pay the same rates as everyone else - smart meters will remove the need for prepay to be more expensive than other tariffs

How can I get a smart meter?

Every home in Great Britain is entitled to a smart meter at no extra cost and you will get one before 2020.

There are three straightforward steps to getting one installed early:

1. Call your energy supplier - you can contact your supplier to see if you can get a smart meter fitted now.

2. Fix a time and day - agree when your supplier can come and install their smart meter, the installation usually takes around two hours.

3. Be home for installation - make sure someone is there during installation. The installer will fit the meter and show you how to use the in-home display.

What’s the difference between the old SMET1 meters & the new SMETS2 meters?

You should request a second generation smart meter SMETS2 wherever possible because:

The new ones are more accurate – SMETS2 meters will be able to provide more accurate readings, bringing an end to the high bills some customers have been charged in the past due to inaccurate readings.

  • No more problems when customers switch suppliers – SMETS1 smart meters often stopped working when householders switched suppliers because the technologies the suppliers used were incompatible and data couldn’t be shared. Landis+Gyr, the UK’s largest smart meter manufacturer, says that the SMETS2 meters will be able to cope when households change suppliers and retain functionality post-switch.

  • SMETS2 meters have better connectivity – households in areas where there is poor mobile phone reception will no long suffer the connectivity issues they had with the first generation meters.

You can view a Youtube video about smart meters here.