What is a smart meter and how does it work?

Smart meters are a next generation meter for both gas and electricity. They are a replacement for standard meters, which use technology created decades ago and require households track their own readings and submit them to suppliers if they want accurate bills. Smart meters use a secure national communication network (called the DCC) to automatically and wirelessly send your actual energy usage to your supplier. This means households will no longer rely on estimated energy bills or have to provide their own regular readings. Smart meters will also come with an in-home display. This display gives the household real-time usage info, including kWh use and cost.

What are the benefits of having a smart meter?

More accurate bills – Smart meters mean the end of estimated bills, the end of having to remember to provide meter readings and/or have a stranger come into your home to read your meter.

Better Understanding of your usage – With the smart meter display, you can see the direct impact your habits and lifestyle have on your bill. This is particularly useful to prepayment meter customers, who can better track how their usage impacts their available credit. By making your energy usage easier to understand, you can make smarter decisions to save energy and money, including feeling more confident switching energy supplier.

Bringing Britain’s energy system into the 21st century – The future is smart, and smart meters are part of the effort to create a smart grid, which is part of providing low-carbon, efficient and reliable energy to Britain’s households.

Innovative energy tariffs – When suppliers have a better understanding of usage patterns, more innovations can be made to the types of tariffs they offer.