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How to use your smart meter - Help guides
How to read your SMETS 1 meter:
Your smart meter will send us readings automatically each month, so you shouldn’t really need to read it very often. If you would like to read your meter though, it’s really simple. Just press number 9 on the keypad and you’ll see the reading on the screen. If your meter is in Economy 7 mode, you’ll need to press number 6 three times and take down each reading as it’s displayed.
How to read your SMETS 2 meter:
There are lots of different types of smart meter so the way you take a meter reading may vary depending on what type of meter you have installed. To find out how to read your meter, identify what meter you have based on the descriptions below.
Reading an electricity Smart Meter
Meters with A and B buttons
Press the A button until the meter display shows ‘TOTAL ACT IMPORT’
The number on this screen will be your meter reading
Meters with an A button and a B button where the reading hasn’t automatically come up on the screen
Press and hold the A button for a few seconds
Then press the A button to cycle through the displays
Look out for the first row of numbers, this should be your meter reading
Meters with three buttons
Press the middle button
This should bring up the meter read display
You can find the read you need underneath ‘IMP’
Meters with an orange button and a blue button
Press the orange button to bring up the meter read display
The numbers shown here followed by kWh is your electricity meter reading
Meters with an orange button and a blue button
Press the Display button to scroll through the displays on the meter
Look out for a display showing ‘IMP’ (01/02) in the top left corner with a number followed by kWh - that is the reading
If you are on an Economy 7 Tariff your meter will have two rates and you’ll need to take a meter reading for each rate. Follow the above instructions based on the type of meter you have.
The two meter readings should appear one after the other on your meter and will often display 01 or 02. Some meters will also show a third reading which is known as the ‘Totaliser’ (this shows the total of your 01 and 02 reads combined). We only need your 01 and 02 reads. Your meter will show you your electricity meter reading in kilowatt hours (kWh).
Reading a gas Smart Meter
Meters with A and B buttons
Press the ‘A’ button once to wake up the meter - as it spends most of its time on standby to conserve battery, scroll through the displays on the meter
Look out for the ‘METER INDEX’ display
The number shown below this is your meter read
Meters with three red buttons (A,B,C)
Press the left (A) button
This brings up your meter reading followed by m3
Meters with two arrow buttons and a circle button
Press the circle button
This brings up the ‘current meter reading’ screen
The number followed by m3 is your meter read
Meters with orange and blue buttons
Press the orange button
This brings up your meter reading followed by m3
What are smart meters? - FAQs
Smart meters are the new generation of electricity and gas meter. They automatically send meter readings directly to your energy supplier – which means no more estimated bills – so you’ll only pay for the energy you’ve used. Instead, you’ll receive more accurate bills and won’t have to send us meter readings anymore.
Use less, pay less
Your smart meter will show you how much energy you're using in real time and how much it’s costing you. You can even compare it with what you’ve used over the last day, month or year.
Smart from your sofa
Your smart meter lets you view your energy use on the handy In-Home Display (IHD).
No more regular meter readings
Your meter tells us exactly how much energy you’re using and sends us your readings automatically. That means there’s less need for you to submit meter readings, and you’ll get fewer visits from our meter readers.
We’ll know how much energy you’re using, so there’ll be no need for any more estimated bills, meaning you’ll only have to pay for the energy you use.
Ecotricity pre-payment smart meters make it easier to pay for your energy. When you make your payment, your smart meter will top up automatically – you won’t need to put a card in the meter. You can also top up your meter through our app, so no more treks to the shop!
Smart meters use wireless communication technology to pass information – such as meter readings – between customers and energy suppliers.
Smart meters operate on two networks:
The Wide Area Network (WAN) – this allows smart meters to communicate with suppliers over a long distance. Customer meter readings are sent to their supplier using a mobile signal – a bit like sending a text on your mobile phone.
The Home Area Network (HAN) – this is the network that allows your electricity and gas meters to communicate with each other, as well as with your in-home display.
Put another way, your smart meters communicate with you about your energy consumption through the HAN, plus they send us your meter readings through the WAN.
Smart meters use low level radio waves to send meter readings to energy suppliers.
There are many everyday devices which use radio waves – for example, radio and TV transmitters, mobiles phones and Wi-Fi.
Public Health England (PHE) have reviewed the evidence and concluded that exposure to these low-level radio waves poses no health risks. Smart meters have gone through rigorous safety testing procedures and exceed every UK and EU safety standard. PHE say that exposure to radio waves from smart meters is well within guideline levels, they are many times lower than the exposure from Wi-Fi or mobile phones.
Yes – although we do recommend the benefits, there is no legal obligation to have a smart meter installed.
If you need an exchange due to a meter fault or emergency, it is very likely that the engineer will be installing a smart meter in place of your traditional one. These are the meters that are now being manufactured as standard and are the only ones that are readily available.
If you’d like to opt out of having a smart meter, email your name and account number to email@example.com or call 0345 812 5555.
Almost certainly! If you already have a smart meter, we may simply be able to change the mode so that it works as a two-rate meter. We can do this remotely, so an engineer won’t have to visit your home.
If you don’t have a smart meter but would like one, then we’ll need to arrange for an engineer to attend your property. Currently, having a smart meter installed is free, so if you’d like your meter exchanged to an Economy 7 smart meter, we can arrange that. Just contact us and let us know.
Security has been a really important part of the smart meter programme from the start.
Smart meters don’t connect to the public internet – they operate on a secure system.
The meters store information about how much electricity and gas you’ve used, but they don’t store any personal details such as your name, contact information or bank details.
No one will be able to see your consumption data without your consent – it’s between you and your energy supplier.
Smart meters are a great way to help our customers monitor their energy consumption, save money and reduce emissions, plus avoid the hassle of having to submit meter readings.
Smart meters will help us as the energy supplier too, as in the future we will be offering advanced tariffs and products that make use of smart meter technology.
The government requires energy suppliers to offer smart meters to all homes and small businesses across Britain by the end of 2025.
Smart meters are available at no extra cost and will be installed without charge by your energy supplier, even if you rent.
We’re developing the functionality for second generation smart meters. If you’re a Pay As You Go customer and you’d like a smart meter, let us know by contacting us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0345 812 5555.
Smart meter installation process - FAQs
Both your current electricity and gas meters will be replaced with smart meters, and you’ll also receive an in-home display.
An engineer will visit your home, safely remove your old meters, install new smart meters, and then talk you through how to use them.
We’re installing smart meters in stages. We have two meter installers, Lowri Beck and AES, one of whom will be in touch with you when installations are about to start in your area.
In most cases a dual fuel smart meter installation (gas and electricity) should be completed in about 2 hours. Appointments can be booked for mornings or afternoons on the day of your choice.
Smart meters are being installed in homes across Britain for free – and our meter installer will be in touch soon to let you know when we’re ready to install yours.
No, you do not need to have an internet connection for smart meters to work. Depending on your location your smart meters will communicate by either using existing mobile or radio signals currently in your area.
Yes, both meters will be replaced however you will only need one in-home display (IHD)
The new meters will be installed in the current location of your gas and electricity meters.
If you have difficulties getting to your new smart meters and want to move them to somewhere more convenient, you’ll need to speak to your local Distribution Network Operator (DNO) or National Grid. Just to let you know, they will charge you for the changes you request.
Before your installation
One of our meter installers, either Lowri Beck or Fulcrum, will contact you to arrange a time and date for your installation. They will tell you what to expect, how long it will take and if there’s anything you need to do.
You will need to let the installer in on the day and make sure they can access your current meters - you might need to clear out the cupboards! If you think there might be any access issues, let us know by calling contacting us on email@example.com or 0345 812 5555.
During your installation
Depending on whether you're having one or both meters replaced, you'll get a smart electricity meter and/or a smart gas meter. These normally go exactly where your old meters were. If they need to be fitted somewhere else, the installer will ask you first.
You’ll also be offered an in-home display, free of charge. This is a portable display screen you can put anywhere in your home. You don’t have to have one, but it’s the easiest way to see what energy you’re using and what it’s costing you.
On arrival your installer will:
Show you a photo ID card before they start.
Explain what your smart meter system does and how to use it.
Check your new meter(s) work properly.
Give you a handy guide about your smart meter.
Answer any questions you have.
Tell you where you can find more help and information.
All new meters will be installed by one of our partners, Lowri Beck or AES. All our meter installers have to pass a formal qualification and meet specific national standards. As a supplier, we have to adhere to Smart Meter Installation Standards. You can read about these specific national standards by visiting the Retail Energy Code website: https://recportal.co.uk/smis
If you need to change your smart meter appointment, all you need to do is call the number at the top of your smart metering confirmation email / letter.
Our target in 2022 was to install 11,258 electricity and 8,344 gas meters. We installed 8,436 electricity and 4,617 gas meters in our customer houses – the main reason for not achieving the target in 2022 were challenges with the workforce post pandemic. Our targets for 2023 are 10,841 electricity and 7,421 gas meters.
Your in-home display (IHD) - FAQs
An in-home display (IHD) is a device a bit like a smart phone that shows you how much electricity and gas you’re using at any time.
It can also show you how much this is costing you in pounds and pence (as well as kilowatt hours), so it can help you understand how your home is using energy – information you could use to help you save money on your energy bills.
An IHD is an integral part of the meter and belongs with it. If you’re moving home, please make sure you leave it for the new occupier as it won’t work with another meter.
You should keep the in-home display in a place that is convenient for you to see and use it. Many customers keep their IHD in the kitchen but make sure that the IHD maintains a signal with the meter in whichever location you choose. The internal battery allows you to carry the IHD around the house to investigate the effects of turning appliances on and off. This battery will last for approximately 1 hour before it needs to be reconnected to the power source.
If you have an IHD and your new provider uses exactly the same make of meters as your old supplier, you should be able to carry on using it.
You’ll be able to check your consumption amounts in kWh, but your new supplier will need to re-programme your meter with their rates and your new tariff before the IHD can tell you how much you’re spending on your energy.
Talk to your new supplier about this – or ask them whether they can offer you a replacement at no extra charge.
The IHD calculates your consumption using your current tariff’s unit rate and daily
standing charge. It does not take into consideration debt repayments which are included on your bill. If your IHD unit rates do not match what is on your bill then this is normally due to a recent price or product change. Please allow up to 7 days for these changes to be reflected on your IHD.
We receive your usage readings direct from your smart meters – it doesn’t matter whether there’s an IHD connected or not.
If you’d like a replacement IHD, we can send you one. The replacement fee is usually £18 but can vary depending on which device you have.
Once you’ve received your new IHD, we’ll link it to your smart meters so you can stay on top of your energy usage. We can do this remotely, so we won’t need to visit you at home.
Getting your In-Home Display to show your usage
Your In-Home Display should show your current energy usage, as both kilowatt hours (kWh) and in pounds and pence. If it isn’t showing this data, the following steps should get your In-Home Display up and running.
Make sure your IHD is 5 metres or less from your electricity meter, and plugged in. If your IHD is too far from your electricity meter, it won’t be able to receive any data. Try moving it closer to your electricity smart meter, which will be fixed to the wall.
Turn your IHD off and on again by using the flat round button at the back. Wait 10 seconds and then press the button again to switch it back on.
If the screen is blank, the In-Home Display may have run out of power. Plug it back in to recharge it and press the flat round button on the back to restart it.
IHD still not working?
Sometimes IHDs lose connection to the gas and electricity meters, this isn’t a big problem they just need to be remotely re-joined. If your IHD appears to have disconnected from the meters, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we can get it reconnected for you.
Electricity usage shows every 10 seconds to give near instantaneous usage info on your IHD display. Gas usage will only update your IHD display every 30 mins however – this is to preserve battery life in your gas meter (for safety reasons, there is no mains power supply to gas meters)
Yes, the smart meter stores your consumption data and once your IHD is powered back on, it will retrieve your consumption information from your meter, which will be visible on the display. Your data will normally be refreshed within 30 minutes although the Electricity data will be available sooner.
After you change tariff it can take up to 7 days for this to be reflected on your IHD. Please be assured that this will not impact your bill in any way and that you will be billed on your new tariff rates even if they aren’t yet on your IHD.
The cost of your energy is split into two parts:
1. The standing charge – this is a set amount per day
2. The unit rate – this is based on your tariff and how much energy you use
The standing charge is applied daily, which means that even if you’re not at home and not using any gas or electricity, you’ll still pay a small daily fee.
The standing charge will appear on your monitor between midnight and 1 AM every day, so your smart energy monitor will show a slight spike in energy use at this time.
Your new IHD is designed to provide you with real-time updates on your energy usage and also to show your consumption history. Most people’s consumption varies day to day and may be different due to a number of factors. For example, having more people in the house normally leads to higher consumption or having set days for washing and drying clothes could mean you use more energy on certain days.
Top up your meter
To top up your PAYG meter call our automated 24-hour payment line.
For home: 0345 812 4444
For business: 0333 3444 149
We are also able to offer an accessible IHD
AIHDs include features such as, larger, tactile buttons, a bigger screen so the information can be displayed in a larger font and with high contrast. There is also a speaker so that information can be played rather than read. The accessible IHDs have been developed in partnership with RNIB. (Royal National Institute for the Blind)
If you would like to request one please email us on: email@example.com
Can't find an answer to your question?
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, our average response time for email and app queries is 2 working days.
If you would like to speak with someone, give us a call on 0345 555 7 100
Alternatively, if you are a business customer, please contact email@example.com
Between 9am – 7pm Monday to Friday
9am – 1pm Saturdays
Prefer to phone a landline? Call 01453 761482
Smell gas? Call the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999