Smart meters are being rolled out across the UK as part of the Government’s ambition announced in 2017 to have them installed in all homes by June 2025 at no upfront cost to customers. Express.co.uk has compiled a guide to explain everything you need to know about smart meters.
What is a smart meter?
A smart meter is the next generation of meter for both electricity and gas replacing standard meters.
The old standard meters require customers to track their own meter readings and submit them to the supplier to ensure accurate bills.
Instead, smart meters use a secure network called DCC to communicate your actual meter readings and energy usage automatically and wirelessly to your supplier.
Smart meter: Smart meters measure how much electricity and gas you use
How does a smart meter communicate information?
Smart meters measure how much gas and electricity you use and then sends this data wirelessly to your in-home display.
The meters then transmit this data to the DCC and then it sends this information to your energy company and energy network,
Energy networks manage the wires and pipes which distribute gas and electricity, and use the data to improve their systems.
Energy companies show how you are using energy in your online account and app.
Smart meter: The meters transmit the energy data to the DCC
How to read an electricity smart reader
Even though smart meters transmit meter readings directly to energy companies, most smart meters allow customers to take readings from it.
Some companies still require customers to provide meter readings for more accurate savings.
For electricity readings, you should look for a number followed by KWH (Kilowatt Hour).
If you have a smart electricity meter with a keypad, you should press nine on the keypad and a series of letters will appear.
You will then see eight digits on the screen followed by the letters KWH and these digits are you meter reading.
If you have an Economy 7 smart meter you can get the meter reading by pressing six on the keypad until the letters IMP R01 followed by eight digits will appear, showing your night or off-peak reading.
You should then keep pressing six until you see IMP R02 followed by eight digits, which will show your peak or normal reading.
You can use these digits before the decimal point as your readings.
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If your meter only has two buttons you should press the display select or display button before scrolling through the meter reading.
You can then look for the number followed by KWH which will show your meter reading.
If the meter has A and B buttons you can get your reading by pressing the A button and continually pressing it until it shows total act import.
The number shown below is the meter reading.
For the meters with three buttons, you should press the middle button and the number shown below IMP is your reading.
If you have a two-rate meter, R1 indicates Rate 1, R2 is Rate 2 and T is your total and you can press the middle button again to see all the readings.
Smart meter: Electricity is measured in KWH and gas is measured in M3
How to read a gas energy meter
To find your gas meter reading, you should look for a number followed by M3.
For a keypad meter, press the number nine on the keypad and then you should see the volume on the screen.
Next, you should see a row of digits followed by M3 at the bottom right which is the gas meter reading.
For meters with A and B buttons, you should press the A button and then keep pressing it until you get to the Meter Index option.
The digits shown below this is your meter reading.
For gas smart meters with arrows and a circle, you should begin by pressing the circle button in the middle.
Your screen will then show current meter reading at the top and the rows of digits followed by M3 is your meter reading.
For meters with three square buttons, you should press the button on the left and then you should see a row of digits followed by M3.
Customers with meters with up and down arrows should press the arrow at the top and you will see a row of digits followed by M3.