It can be frustrating if you are having issues with your smart meter. Here are the key things to know about your rights.
What protection do I have with my smart meter?
There are a number of consumer protection provisions you should have as part of your smart meter installation.
There must be no sales during the installation visit and installers must provide energy efficiency advice as part of the visit.
They also need your permission in advance of the visit if they are planning to talk about their own products.
You will also have a choice about how your energy consumption data is used, apart from where it is required for billing and other regulated purposes.
If you are worried about the data your smart meter collects or would like to learn more about the rights you have to control what is shared with your energy supplier, read our guide on what data your smart meter is allowed to collect about you.
For more information on making any of the choices above or any other questions about your data, contact your energy supplier.
My smart meter isn’t recording my data correctly
If you’re paying more than usual, you get a bill you weren’t expecting, or your smart meter shows an error message, there may be a problem.
If you feel your smart meter is faulty, or not registering your data correctly, contact your supplier – they are responsible for making sure your meter works properly and they should send someone round to take a look at the problem.
What makes the meter 'smart'?
• Smart meters record your household energy use
• They will provide information about the energy you use directly to you or your supplier without anyone having to read the meter
• This should mean no more estimated bills, so you’ll only be paying for the gas and electricity you actually use
Responsibility of installers
If your installer tried to upsell you, or failed to provide energy efficiency advice as part of the visit, they are in breach of these rules.
Smart meters should be provided at no extra cost. You shouldn’t have to pay anything upfront and there is no additional charge on your energy bills.
Smart meter installers should talk to you about how to use your smart meter, as well as provide advice on important safety issues, such as how to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
Can I still switch suppliers with a smart meter?
You can switch suppliers. But, in the short term, you could face functionality issues with your smart meter in the short term.
If you have a smart meter installed which is not a SMETS2 model, you may have to get it switched to 'dumb' mode. So, if you want to switch to a supplier which may not be able to support your current smart meter, it will be switched to operate like a traditional meter. If this happens, you'd have to take manual readings again until your smart meter is connected to the DCC network at some point during the roll-out.
Long term, it is hoped that smart meters will ultimately make switching suppliers easier and quicker. A smart meter can be instructed to send information about your energy use to a new energy company instantaneously.
Once the roll-out process is complete and all smart meters are compatible and connected to the DCC, you should be able to see which provider is offering you the best deal based on your energy use. Ofgem has introduced rules for smart meters, which includes a requirement that a supplier installing a smart meter must inform you if you might lose meter functionality when changing supplier.