Smart Meter Information
A smart meter is the next generation of gas and electricity meters.
Smart meters come with an in-home display (IHD) screen that shows you how much energy you're using in pounds and pence, in near real time. This should help reduce the number of estimated bills customer receive.
The smart meter also displays a digital meter reading and will automatically send the reading to your energy supplier at least once a month, so customers will receive more accurate bills, not based on estimates.
Smart meters use their own secure, wireless network using radio waves, just like mobile phones or TVs do. They don't use the internet to send or receive data and you don't need an internet connection for it to work.
The wireless network that Smart Meters will use will be run by the Data Communications Company, which is overseen by the energy regulator Ofgem.
There are strict new regulations and codes of practice to keep smart meter data private, secure and safe.
Why can’t Green Network Energy operate my Smart Meter?
The aim of the smart meter programme is to replace an estimated 53 million traditional gas and electricity meters with smart meters by 2020. Suppliers have been tasked with removing their customers ‘traditional non-smart’ meters and installing smart meters and In-Home Displays (IHDs)
This is so suppliers and other industry parties will connect to customers smart meters via a ‘central hub’ called the Data Communications Company (see diagram below). Suppliers will then be able to connect securely to the meters. Allowing them to receive readings automatically and update customers tariff information, so the IHD can display both usage and estimated cost.
Image source: https://www.smartdcc.co.uk/about-dcc/
Although the DCC was due to be ready in late 2017, sadly it isn’t ready yet. At first, suppliers will only be able to fully operate other supplier’s smart meters if they are 2nd generation smart meters (SMETS2 meters).
Unfortunately, all smart meters currently being installed are the 1st generation or SMETS1. Suppliers are installing these smart meters depending on their own strategy, using their own communications networks. This generally means that only the supplier that installs the smart meter can connect to it wirelessly.
Soon, the DCC will roll in/adopt SMETS1 meters, but the earliest this is forecast to be complete is mid-2019.
Unfortunately, this means that millions of people will need to stay with their current supplier to keep full smart meter functions or switch and lose some functionality.
The loss of functionality generally includes automatic reads and the estimated spend/cost information on the IHD may not be correct.
There is a possibility that if a SMETS1 meter is faulty then it will need to be replaced with a SMETS2 meter. Or, if a SMETS2 meter is not available, a traditional meter.
What is Green Network Energy’s Smart Meter plan?
We are excited about the new Smart Meters and we're committed to helping the government achieve their target of installing Smart Meters by 2020. However, our intention is to provide the best service to our customers. Right now, part of that is investing in the right technology based on the information available. We don`t believe that installing the currently available SMETS1 smart meters is consistent with that approach.
Based on the current DCC status and the supplier inter-operability problems with SMETS1 meters, our current strategy is to select from the second generation of Smart Meters (SMETS2). These are guaranteed to be compatible/supported when they become available on the market.
This would mean that customers with smart meters installed by Green Network Energy would not lose smart meter functionality if they moved to a different supplier.
We anticipate our roll-out will start mid-2018, but it is dependent on the technology available. We will contact our customers with updates and news of our Smart Meter strategy, providing plenty of notice. In the meantime, we are unable to fit Smart Meters or In-Home-Displays and will treat SMETS1 meters as if they were traditional non-smart meters.
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