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.

Are Smart Meters Compulsory?

smart meter installation

It’s a question we get asked a lot – are smart meters compulsory? Do I have to get a smart meter? Will the government make me get one? In this article, we’ll tackle some common questions & concerns about the smart meter roll-out.

If you’re unsure what a smart meter is, or whether you already have one, we’d recommend reading this article first – What is a smart meter and how do they work?

Do I have to get a smart meter?

The short answer is no – smart meters are completely optional, and you are not obliged to get one. You can still switch to Eversmart Energy and opt-out of getting a smart meter if you wish.

Some background

In 2016 the government began the smart meter roll-out. It is their goal to put a smart meter in every home & business in the UK by 2020. Smart meters are designed to save consumers money and make the energy grid more modern & efficient.

Energy suppliers (including Eversmart Energy) are responsible for supplying & fitting smart metering equipment at no up-front cost to the consumer. Suppliers are required “to take all reasonable steps to roll out smart meters to all of their domestic and small business customers by the end of 2020”, as stated on the Ofgem website.

As a result, we offer a smart meter to every new Eversmart customer. It’s no secret that we think smart meters are great and that everybody should have one – but we won’t force you to have one installed if you don’t want it.

What does Ofgem say?

The following is taken from Ofgem’s website:

“While we and the government think that all consumers will benefit from smart meters, they aren’t compulsory and you can choose not to have one.”

“Choosing not to have a smart meter may mean you don’t have access to all the available tariffs on the market, some of which could be cheaper.”

“If you don’t want to have a smart meter now, you will still be able to have one installed for free at a later date.”

Why you should get a smart meter

Although they are not compulsory, smart meters offer a huge range of benefits. We’ve included a brief list of some of them below:

  • No more estimated bills. Your energy bills will be accurate and based on your real usage.
  • No need to submit manual meter readings to your supplier
  • You will also receive a free in-home display unit, showing your energy use & spending in near real-time
  • Smart meters are much more convenient for pre-pay customers. You can top-up remotely via app, phone or SMS

If you do opt to get a smart meter, it will be supplied & fitted for free by a qualified smart meter engineer. The installation process is fairly straightforward and is usually done in under two hours.

More information

If you have more questions about smart meters, there’s plenty more information & resources on our website:

8 Smart Meter Myths: Busted

smart meter myths

When it comes to smart meters, there’s a lot of incorrect information, misconceptions and myths out there— from worries about safety to concerns about data security and everything in between. In this article, we’ll address some of the most common smart meter myths.

Myth no. 1: My smart meter will spy on me

Fact: Smart meters are secure and data is never shared with third parties

Smart meters are designed to collect your gas & electricity usage data and nothing else. They simply don’t have access to any other kind of personal data.

When that data is transmitted to your energy supplier, it uses a secure encrypted connection – similar to that used by online banking. The communication infrastructure is provided by the Data Communication Company, which is regulated by Ofgem.

Your data is secure and is never passed on to third parties.

Myth no. 2: My energy supplier will force me to get a smart meter

Fact: Smart meters are completely optional

Smart meters are not compulsory, and your energy supplier cannot force you to get one if you don’t want it.

Here’s what it says on the Ofgem website:

“While we and the government think that all consumers will benefit from smart meters, they aren’t compulsory and you can choose not to have one.”

“Choosing not to have a smart meter may mean you don’t have access to all the available tariffs on the market, some of which could be cheaper.”

“If you don’t want to have a smart meter now, you will still be able to have one installed for free at a later date.”

You can find more information in this article titled “Are Smart Meters Compulsory?”

Myth no. 3: Smart meters will make you ill

Fact: Smart meters are just as safe as any other digital device

There is no need to be concerned about your health with a smart meter in the house. They are subject to the same strict UK and EU safety regulations as any other consumer electrical product.

They do emit radio waves, but the levels are perfectly safe – and lower than your mobile phone or your Wi-Fi router.

The government has published a very detailed article about smart meters and your health, which you can read here.

Myth no. 4: You can’t change suppliers once you have a smart meter

Fact: You are free to switch suppliers whenever you like

You are free to switch energy suppliers whether you have a traditional meter or a smart meter.

One note – if you have a first-generation smart meter, it could make switching a little more complicated. If on the other hand you have a second-gen meter, you can switch seamlessly between suppliers. Contact your current provider if you’re unsure.

Myth no. 5: Smart meters are expensive

Fact: Your energy supplier should provide & fit your smart meter free of charge

Energy companies are obligated to offer smart meters to their customers, and they should supply and fit them for free. The cost of the equipment and installation is covered by your monthly energy bills.

Myth no. 6: Smart meters cause fires

Fact: Smart meters a rigorously tested and fitted by qualified engineers

Smart meter manufacturers must satisfy the safety requirements and standards set out in the National Electric Safety Code (NESC). Your meter will also be fitted by a qualified, expert engineer.

This makes the risk of fires or explosions extremely unlikely.

Myth no. 7: You can’t get a smart meter if you rent

Fact: Tenants have the right to choose their energy supplier and can get a smart meter

As a tenant, if you’re the one who pays the gas & electric bills, then you have the right to choose your own energy supplier. You can also choose whether or not to get a smart meter.

Strictly speaking, your energy meter belongs to your energy supplier – not you, not the house and not your landlord – so you are free to get the old meter taken out and replaced with a smart meter. Although your landlord can’t stop you, it’s advisable to let them know what you’re doing.

Myth no. 8: Smart meters don’t really offer any benefits

Fact: Smart meters give you accurate bills and control over your energy usage

For a start, they give you completely accurate energy bills. That means no more estimated bills, and no surprises if you have under or over-paid. In addition, your in-home display gives you a near real-time view of your energy use, displayed in pounds and pence. This gives you the power to identify waste, make smarter choices and reduce your spending.

You can claim your free smart meter from Eversmart Energy here.

What is a smart meter and how do they work?

How do Smart Meters work?

The government wants a smart meter installed in every home and business in the country by 2020. In this article we’ll tackle some of the most common questions & concerns about smart meters, including; what are smart meters? How do smart meters work? How much do they cost? How are they fitted? And are they worth it?

Smart meters explained

Smart meters are designed to replace old, traditional gas & electricity meters. Smart meters communicate directly with your energy supplier, transmitting regular, accurate meter readings. This means no more climbing into your cupboard in order to give your supplier a manual reading. It also puts an end to inaccurate energy bills based on estimated usage.

Smart meters usually come bundled with an in-home device (IHD). Also known as an energy monitor, the IHD has a screen that displays how much gas and electricity you are using in near real-time. Seeing your energy usage and spending can help you adjust your lifestyle and save energy & money.

Smart meter diagram
A typical smart meter set-up for a dual fuel customer.

What does a smart meter look like?

The actual smart meter – the unit that’s usually tucked away in a cupboard or a corner – looks similar to a traditional electricity or gas meter. However when most people mention a ‘smart meter’, they’re actually referring to the in-home device – this is a sleek, small display that sits on a shelf or table top and displays your energy usage. It’s fairly small and discreet – perhaps a little larger and bulkier than an average mobile phone.

What does a smart meter look like?

How much does a smart meter cost?

Nothing! Your smart meter will be installed for free. If you switch over to Eversmart, you will receive a free smart meter fitted by a trained engineer plus a free home safety test. You can find out more about switching to us here and more about our smart meters here.

What are the benefits of having a smart meter?

There are two very big benefits of having a smart meter installed. The first is that your energy bills will no longer be estimated and you will only pay for the actual amount of gas and electricity you use. The second is having visibility of your live usage. The IHD displays your kWh usage and the amount you are spending. This is especially useful if you are a pre-payment customer, as the smart meter will tell you how much credit you have left.

We have listed a few more benefits below:

  • More accurate bills
     
  • No need to submit manual meter readings
     
  • Improved service – As energy suppliers get a better understanding of their customer’s energy usage and habits, they can offer better tariffs.
     
  • Remote topping-up – Pre-payment customers with a smart meter can top-up online or over the phone. No more walking to the shops just to top up your gas and electric!
     
  • Save energy and money – If you can see how much energy you are using and when you are using the most, it’s easier to make smart choices and lifestyle changes that will reduce your usage, bring down your bills and reduce your carbon footprint.
     
  • Helping to create the “smart grid” – The more people that have smart meters, the more energy suppliers can plan ahead and supply energy more efficiently. This saves money for both the suppliers and their customers.
     

Some other frequently asked questions:

How do smart meters transmit data?

Smart meters from Eversmart come with a mobile SIM card that transmits your usage data. It can also receive messages and updates. The SIM is completely free and you do not need to pay a monthly bill or any other fees for using it.

The SIM can roam between several networks, so there’s no need to worry about whether it will get a signal.

Do smart meters need the internet to work?

No. The smart meter uses a SIM card to communicate with the energy supplier. The smart meter also connects wirelessly with the IHD (it doesn’t use your Wi-Fi, as some people believe).

Are they safe?

There have been rumours and conspiracy theories floating around that smart meters are somehow harmful to your health. We can tell you that smart meters are subject to the same safety regulations and rigorous testing as other consumer technology products, as required by UK and EU law.

Smart meters do emit low-level radio frequencies, as do many consumer electrical products. Public Health England (formerly The Health Protection Agency) say that the evidence suggests the radio waves produced by smart meters do not pose a risk to health. The government has published a very detailed report on smart meters & health, which you can read here.

How are smart meters powered?

The smart meter is powered directly by your home’s power supply. Your IHD from Eversmart can be plugged in or powered by batteries. Note that if you turn off the IHD, the smart meter will continue working and transmitting data as usual.

Who will install my smart meter?

Your smart meter will be fitted and tested by a trained engineer.

How long does it take to fit a smart meter?

It usually takes up to one hour per meter (gas and/or electricity). So if you are a dual-fuel customer, it should take no longer than 2 hours.

The video below gives you a brief overview of the installation process:

Note that dual-fuel customers will need two smart meters – one for your gas supply and one for your electricity. Both are free and we will aim to install both in the same visit. You will only need one in-home display.

Can I switch energy suppliers if I have a smart meter?

Yes. Be aware however that if you already have an older 1st-generation smart meter, it may not be compatible with your new supplier. If you are unsure, check with your current supplier before making the switch.

Modern 2nd-generation smart meters can be switched seamlessly between suppliers.

Can I get a smart meter if I pre-pay for my gas or electric?

Yes. A smart meter will help you monitor your usage and allow you to pay remotely. They’re also ideal for people with limited mobility, as traditional meters are often difficult and inconvenient to access.

Can I get a smart meter if I rent my home?

Yes. As a tenant, if you are directly responsible for paying the energy bills, then you have the right to choose your own energy supplier. In most circumstances your energy meter belongs to the energy company, not your landlord. This means that you are free to switch suppliers and get your old meter replaced with a smart meter (Ofgem recommends that you still give your landlord a heads-up before getting a smart meter fitted).

IHD
An Eversmart in-home display (IHD)

How to get a smart meter

Eversmart Energy offer a free smart meter to every new customer. We also offer some of the best value energy tariffs in the country – you could save up to £400 per year by switching to us. You can get a quote in under 2 minutes here.