I have a smart meter – why am I still being asked for a meter reading?

meter readings

You may have noticed that we’re big fans of smart meters here at Eversmart.

One of the main benefits of having a smart meter is that you don’t have to submit manual meter readings – the meter automatically collects and transmits your usage information for you.

So if that’s the case, why do some customers with smart meters still get asked to submit a manual reading?

There are two main reasons this could happen:

Reason no. 1 – You have just switched to us

Let’s say you’re in the middle of switching to Eversmart from another supplier. You already have a smart meter and you’re going to carry on using it.

Your smart meter should send a closing reading to your old old supplier and an opening reading to Eversmart, right? In theory yes, that’s how it should work. But in reality, the old supplier might not release the meter to Eversmart in time – which is why we still ask for an opening meter reading when you switch.

You will only have to do this once. After the switch is complete, your smart meter will automatically send readings to us, and you’ll never have to send a manual reading again!

Reason no. 2 – You don’t have a Secure smart meter

Smart meters
Eversmart use Secure brand smart meters

Don’t be confused – we’re not saying that your meter is insecure or vulnerable. “Secure” is the name of the company that manufactures our smart meters. If your smart meter was fitted by Eversmart, it will be a Secure model.

Secure is one of the most popular smart meter brands, used by around 80% of energy suppliers – including Eversmart. Their meters are SMETS compliant, they are suitable for both direct debit and prepayment customers, and they are compatible with the popular Pipit 500 in-home display.

This means that Eversmart can only take automatic readings from Secure meters.

If your meter was fitted by a different energy supplier, it may or may not be a Secure meter. If it’s not, you will unfortunately have to provide your own meter readings. But don’t worry – we’ve made the whole process as easy as possible.

How to submit a manual reading

You can submit a manual meter reading any time, day or night, simply by logging in to your online account. Once you’ve logged in, just click or tap on the meter readings tab and enter your readings.

If you’re having trouble logging in: Just send an email to hello@eversmartenergy.co.uk and one of our advisers will help get you up and running.

If you need help reading your meter: We have created this handy guide complete with illustrations and easy-to-follow instructions.

Will this change in the future?

Yes. As the second generation of smart meters (known as SMETS2) are rolled-out, there will be no more incompatibility issues between different suppliers and meters. Eversmart are currently in the testing process and we plan to start installing SMETS2 meters in 2019.

Can I change to a Secure meter?

We may be able to upgrade your smart meter, depending on the type of meter you currently have and which part of the country you live in. Please email hello@eversmartenergy.co.uk for more information.

The secret behind your opening meter reading

opening meter readings

Whenever you switch to a new energy supplier, you will be asked to find your gas & electricity meters and submit an opening set of meter readings. Doing this makes your switch feel official, marking the handover from your old supplier to your new one. Sounds simple enough, right?

The strange thing is, we don’t always use your actual readings to open your account. To explain why, we need to take a look at the way the energy industry works, because industry rules & regulations can make things a lot more complicated than you might expect.

Your opening meter reading has to be checked & validated

When we receive your opening meter readings, we’re not allowed to just take your word for it – we have to send the figures to an independent meter validation company to be checked & verified. This is a regulatory requirement, and every energy company has to do it. It also takes time, which is why switching suppliers can take up to 21 days.

Why do your readings need to be verified? For starters, it prevents disputes between the two energy companies involved in the handover. And secondly, it double-checks that your meter readings are accurate.

So here’s how validating works…

The meter validation company’s aim is to work out what’s know as your maximum acceptable reading. If the opening meter reading you supply is more than the maximum acceptable reading, then they know that something’s not quite right!

This is how they work it out:

Step 1:

First, the meter validation company will look at your last verified reading (i.e. the last one you did with your old supplier before switching).

Step 2:

Next, they’ll calculate your expected usage for the period between your last meter reading and your switch date.

So let’s say your last meter reading was taken 20 days before you switched – they’ll take your typical daily usage and multiply it by 20. And because some days you’ll use more energy than others, they’ll multiply this number by 2.5 to give you a bit of a buffer.

Step 3:

Finally, they add the two figures together to create your maximum acceptable reading. It looks a bit like this:

Last reading + (expected usage x 2.5) = Your maximum acceptable reading

This gives them a decent estimate of what your opening meter reading should be, with some wiggle-room. All that’s left to do now is compare this figure to the opening readings you submitted.

What happens if the numbers don’t match up?

So what happens if your opening meter reading is higher than the maximum acceptable reading? It’s simple – we’ll just use the estimated figure instead.

What if your opening reading is lower than your last reading? In that case there has obviously been a mistake, and again we’ll just use the estimated figure in its place.

This doesn’t make a huge amount of difference for you – it just shifts the handover point slightly one way or the other.

Whichever way you look at it, there will always be a clear-cut point where you switch from the old supplier to the new one, and you will never pay for the same energy twice.

Getting off on the right foot

Providing an accurate & timely set of meter readings helps the whole switching process go smoothly! If you any need help reading your meters, don’t worry – we’ve create this handy guide with plenty of illustrations and simple instructions.

Please bear in mind that the explanation above has been simplified – the real calculations involve some pretty heavy maths!

If you have any questions about giving meter readings, we’re here to help – simply send an email to hello@eversmartenergy.co.uk.

How to submit a meter reading

How to submit a meter reading

From time to time you may be asked to give a gas or electricity meter reading. These readings are used to calculate your energy bill, and are especially important if you’ve just changed suppliers or moved to a new address. In this guide, we’ll show you how to take a reading from the most common types of meter.

In this guide:

 

Locating your meter

Before you can take a reading, you first need to locate your gas and electricity meters. They’re often hidden away in a cupboard, under the stairs or sometimes in a box on the outside of your property. If you have just moved into a rented home and you’re having trouble finding your meters, contact your landlord or letting agency.

Every property and meter will look different, but here’s a few examples to show you what you’re looking for:

Electric meter example
An example of an electricity meter in a cupboard (image source).
electric meter example
An economy 7 electric meter (image source).
gas meter example
An example of a gas meter on the outside of a property (image source).
gas meter example
A gas meter in a cupboard

As meters are often kept somewhere dark, it’s a good idea to take a torch and a pen & paper with you.

 

How to read your electric meter

Take a look through the pictures below and find the one that looks most like your electric meter, then simply follow the instructions underneath.

Digital Meter – Single Rate

single rate electric meter

How to identify this meter: This meter will have the words “single phase” or “single rate” on it. If your meter says the words “multi single phase” or “multi rate”, then please scroll down to the Two Rate electric meter section.

How to read this meter: Simply write down all the numbers from left to right, including any zeros at the beginning.

Digital Meter – Two Rate, Single Display

two rate electric meter

two rate electric meter

How to identify this meter: This meter will have the words “multi single phase” or “multi rate” on it.

How to read this meter: You will need to take two readings from this meter. Some displays will alternate every few seconds, as indicated by the small 1 or 2 on the left. Some meters will have a button that lets you flip between the two figures.

Note down each number in full from left to right, including any zeros.

Mechanical Digital Meter – Single Rate

single rate electric meter

How to identify this meter: This meter shows one long number on a mechanical display.

How to read this meter: Write down all the numbers from left to right. Include any zeros at the beginning, but don’t include the red number at the end.

Mechanical Digital Meter – Two Rate

two rate electric meter

How to identify this meter: This meter will show two long numbers on mechanical displays. The two dials will be labelled as either “low and normal” or “night and day”.

How to read this meter: You will need to submit two readings with this type of meter. Write down both sets of numbers from left to right. Include any zeros at the beginning, but don’t include the red number at the end.

Mechanical Dial Meter

dial electric meter

How to identify this meter: This is an older type of meter which uses a series of dials rather than numbers.

How to read this meter: Write down the number on each dial, including any zeros. You can ignore the red dial at the end.

  • If a dial is pointing between two numbers, write down the lowest number.
  • If the pointer is between 9 and 0, always write down 9.
  • If the pointer sits directly on top of a number, underline that number.
  • If an underlined number is followed directly by a 9, you should subtract 1 from the underlined number.

In the example above, your would write down 3 9 8 5 6. Your final reading would then be 2 9 8 5 6.

Note that some of the dials might go clockwise and some might go anti-clockwise.

 

How to read your gas meter

gas meter

Simply write down the numbers from left to right, including any zeros at the beginning. You can ignore the numbers in red or any number after a decimal point.

If you have an older imperial gas meter, it might also have a dial. You can ignore this – we just need the numbers on the digital display.

 

How to submit your readings

The quickest & easiest way to submit a reading to Eversmart is through our portal – you can login here.

You can also send us your readings by email. Send your readings along with your name, telephone number and account number to hello@eversmartenergy.co.uk.