What protection do I have with my smart meter?

There are a number of consumer protection provisions you have, as part of the smart meter installation process.

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 can show you how much energy you're using in real time on an in-home display
  • 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 - everyone is paying for the smart meter roll-out through their 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 still switch suppliers if you've already got a smart meter. But, if you have a first-generation smart meter, you may find that your new supplier doesn't support your smart meter yet.

If this is the case, you may lose the 'smart' functionality of your meter, and have to take manual readings again like you would if you had a traditional meter.

At some point during the roll-out before the 2020 target deadline, all first-generation smart meters will be remotely connected to the wireless DCC network. 

When this happens, you won't have to do anything - it will happen automatically and won't require a visit from a technician.

But a third of first-generation meters will need a different solution - and this hasn't been developed yet.

Ultimately, if you have a first-generation smart meter which doesn't connect to the wireless network, you'll need to have it replaced.

Once connected, it's hoped that future switching to a new energy suppliers will be quicker and easier to do. 

Visit our detailed Which? guide on smart meters for a breakdown of the varying smart meter offerings from a range of energy suppliers.

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