Smart meters: your questions answered
What is a smart meter?
Smart meters are pretty nifty. They’re the next generation of gas and electricity meters. They come with a handy in-home display – a screen that shows you how much energy you’re using in pounds and pence, in near real time.
Smart meters automatically send your meter reading to us so that you won’t have to worry about providing meter readings. This also means you will receive more accurate bills. Yay! For more info, take a look at this video:
Why are smart meters being rolled out?
The smart meter roll-out is part of a national programme to bring our energy system up to date. All homes in Britain will be offered a smart meter by their supplier by the end of 2020.
Smart meters give you an easy way to understand and reduce your energy consumption. They will also help to reduce problems that occur with estimated bills or when switching suppliers.
If there’s a power cut, your smart meter will be able to send a message to your supplier, meaning your power should be restored sooner.
In the future, smart meters will also allow us to offer energy tariffs that vary at different times of the day. This means we might be able to offer cheaper tariffs at various times; such as when other people’s energy use isn’t very high or if a lot of energy is being produced.
I have a smart meter that was installed by another supplier, can Green Network Energy use my smart meter?
Simply put, it depends on what type of smart meter you have. Currently, there are a few different types of smart meters around. Therefore, not all suppliers can operate different types of smart meters.
Most smart meters installed from April 2019 onwards are the second generation (SMETS2) meters. We are able to operate these meters in smart mode.
Most smart meters that were installed up to March 2019 were the first generation (SMETS1) meters. Currently, Green Network Energy can only manage ‘Secure’ branded SMETS1 meters in smart mode. We can still supply you with energy if you have a different type of SMETS1 meter, but you will need to send us meter readings. By the end of 2020, the first generation (SMETS1) meters are due to be set up in the national smart meter communications system. This means that we will then be able to operate them in smart mode
Some of the very first smart meters that were installed around 2010-2011 will not be set up in the national smart meter communication system. Unfortunately, Green Network Energy will never be able to operate them in smart mode. For customers with these meters, we will offer an upgrade to the latest specification (SMETS2) meters, so you don’t get left behind.
What data will my smart meter collect?
Smart meters will only collect your energy consumption data. Your tariff will be stored on your smart meter so that your in-home display accurately shows your usage in pounds and pence.
Your name, address and bank details are never stored on your smart meter.
We will collect one meter reading per day. You have the right to ask us to only collect one meter reading per month to produce an accurate bill. But collecting readings more often provides us with a back-up reading in case we cannot communicate with your smart meter on one day.
More information about smart meter data: https://bit.ly/2XUT89k
Mobile app data consent
As a smart meter customer, you can gain access to a whole range of extra energy insights and analytics via our GNE mobile app.
Currently, this insight is only available for customers with a ‘secure’ branded smart meter. But for us to provide these insights for you, we need your consent to access your half hourly energy usage data from your meter.
By allowing us to access your 30 minute data, you will be able to see the following in the app:
- Compare your energy usage with other similar homes
- View your consumption for every 30 minutes
- View estimated appliance usage, including a breakdown within 30 minutes of consumption
- Check high usage and cost alerts for every 30 minutes
You can change your consent at any time by navigating to My Account/Consent/30 minute data consent in the app.
If 30 minute data consent is not provided, then we will only collect data up to once a day. You also won’t be able to see your appliance consumption and you will lose some app functionality.
Are smart meters secure?
Yes, the smart metering system in Great Britain has been designed with some of the country’s leading cybersecurity experts, including the National Cyber Security Centre, a part of the government’s security organisation GCHQ.
Smart meters use their own secure wireless network, they are not connected to the internet and do not use the internet to send or receive information.
Your name, address and bank details are never stored on your smart meter. Your energy usage and tariff are stored on the meter and are encrypted when they are sent to us.
Do I have to have a smart meter?
As an energy company, we have to offer smart meters to our customers by the end of 2020. But it is up to you if you accept this offer. If you decide not to upgrade to a smart meter, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- You will have to continue to provide meter readings
- You won’t receive a handy in-home display
- You may not be able to access certain tariffs
How do smart meters work?
Just like our mobile phones and TVs, smart meters use their own secure, wireless network.
They don’t use the internet to send or receive data, so you don’t need an internet connection for them to work. Here is a quick and easy explanation:
Can I switch supplier if I have a smart meter?
Yes, you can still switch supplier if you have a smart meter!
However, depending on what smart meter you have, and what provider you are switching to, you may lose smart functionality and need to provide meter readings.
The smart meters installed by Green Network Energy will all be the latest model (SMETS2) meters. All other suppliers are required to operate these meters so you should not lose any smart functionality.