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Smart Meters

As of April 2022, the rollout is at its halfway point, with over 19million smart meters now connected.

Energy suppliers are committed to completing the smart meter programme so that as many customers as possible can experience the benefits of smart meters while ensuring the rollout is carried out safely, efficiently and cost-effectively.

The rollout of smart meters across the whole of GB is the first of its kind, and a necessary infrastructure upgrade to digitalise our energy system.

Millions of people across Great Britain are already benefitting from smart meters, with customers reporting high levels of satisfaction overall (72% satisfaction - Ofgem Household Consumer Perceptions of the energy market Q4 2020 Research).

Customers with smart meters are able to take better control of their energy usage, getting real-time information via their In-Home Display, and accurate bills, without the need for a meter reader to visit. Prepayment customers with smart meters can top up remotely without the need to leave their home.

As well as these immediate benefits, there are also longer-term benefits to the rollout.

Smart meters are a key enabler in us meeting the Government’s Net Zero ambitions. Having a smart meter in your home which is connected to the grid and sharing real-time data will offer networks the ability to monitor and respond to real-time demand.

Energy UK’s role

Energy UK has lead a number of projects to support the upgrade to smart meters. Our work so far has included:

  • Agreeing principles and requirements for shared working to determine smart meter functionality.
  • Working with the Government’s central smart metering implementation programme to develop best outcomes for energy suppliers and customers.
  • Supporting our members in their engagement with government, consumer bodies and the Smart DCC.
  • Delivering codes of practice and other agreed commitments including:
  • Initiating the Smart Meter Device Assurance arrangements;
  • Initiating the Central Delivery Body – the collective customer-facing campaign for smart meters;
  • Initiating the central delivery body for Alternative Home Area Networks that will provide smart metering connectivity in blocks of flats and multi-occupancy buildings;
  • Writing and delivering the Code Administration arrangements for the Smart Meter Installation Code of Practice (SMICoP).
  • Producing the ‘Data Guide for Smart Meters’.
  • Developing the 868MHz specification to bridge the national coverage gap.
  • Leading the procurement and specification of the RNIB-approved ‘Accessible In-Home Display’ for customers with visual impairments.
  • Developing the industry wide reporting arrangements and supporting the monitoring of the safe installation of smart meters.

Fitting and operating smart meters

Energy UK is not involved in the installation or operation of smart meters. If you have any questions about smart meter installation or operation, please get in touch with your supplier.

Radio Teleswitching arrangements

Energy UK’s smart project team are working closely with industry colleagues to secure the ongoing operation of the current Radio Teleswitching arrangements, and working to ensure a smooth transition to smart meters when the Radio Teleswitching arrangements close down. Smart meter functionality means that they will become the natural replacement for the current stock of legacy metering arrangements that are required by some consumers to facilitate the switching on of night storage heaters and water heaters (typically in premises with no mains-gas supply, where domestic heating and hot-water appliances powered by electricity are installed).

As the rollout of smart meters will take some time to complete across the UK, Energy UK’s members have all agreed that the current Radio Teleswitching arrangements should remain in place until 31st March 2023. However, we are currently working with relevant industry parties to try and secure a further extension to the current arrangements out to the end of 2025.

Resources

The Data Guide for Smart Meters

The Data Guide for Smart Meters outlines the key information customers need to know about their rights and choices when they get a smart meter installed. Smart meters can collect energy consumption information, which customers can use to learn more about their energy use.

This guide has been developed and agreed between Energy UK, its members and Citizens Advice, following customer research. The Guide was published back in June 2013. It outlines what data will be collected by energy suppliers, and the choices that consumers have about the amount of information their energy supplier can collect and how the information can be used.

Policy note: The customer research gave specific insight into what to call this document. The “Data Guide” was preferred to the phrase “Data Charter”, which was the term used by Government in its smart metering data access and privacy policy documents. Any reference to the Data Charter should now be taken as referring to the “Data Guide for Smart Meters”.

Guidance for Electricity and Gas Installation Customer Facing Issues

Working alongside Energy UK’s members, the Association of Meter Operators and other key industry stakeholders, we have developed a comprehensive ‘Guidance for Electricity and Gas Meter Installation Customer Facing Issues’ document. This guidance is designed to support meter installers where they identify issues with consumers’ electrical or gas equipment or appliances that require corrective action to be taken either immediately, or at some point in the near future. The guidance also sets out expectations on the additional support that energy suppliers should provide to consumers with specific needs and requirements, particularly when equipment and appliances must be isolated or disconnected for reasons of safety.

More information on the smart meter rollout can be found on the Smart Energy GB website: https://www.smartenergygb.org/

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