EducationalSmart Meters

Smart meter queries

Smart meter on white surface with animated super heroDo I need a broadband connection in my home to use a smart meter?

No. Smart meters use an entirely separate, bespoke wireless system. You don’t need Wi-Fi in your home for it to work and it won’t use your Wi-Fi if you have it.

Does having a smart meter make it easier to switch between payment modes (e.g. direct debit or prepay)?

Yes. New smart meters can operate and switch between modes, without an installer having to visit your house and change the meter.

Can I get a smart meter if I have solar panels?

We aren’t currently able to offer a tariff to customers with Solar panels, however, you can get a smart meter if you have solar panels with other providers. Your bills will reflect the energy you are using and that you have generated yourself. Your in-home display will only show how much energy you are buying from your supplier. In the future, your in-home display may also be able to reflect the energy you’re generating yourself, such as from solar panels.

What is the in-home display and what does it do?

Your in-home display is a handheld digital device that sits in your home. This may be called lots of things - like an IHD or smart meter display. It takes information from your smart meter and shows you in near real time how much energy you're using in pounds and pence.

And that’s just for starters. Your in-home display has all sorts of features to help you control your energy use and lower your bills. You can see:

how much energy you’re using in near real-time (it updates at least every 10 seconds for electricity and every half hour for gas) and can show you what it's costing you in pounds and pence (or if you prefer it, kwh or CO2 emissions)

  • how much energy you've used within the last day, week, and month.
  • For smart meters operating in prepay mode, it will also show:
  • how much credit you have left
  • how much you have on your emergency credit balance
  • your debt balance, if you have one
  • a visual or audio alert if your credit’s getting low

In the future, you may even be able to top-up via your in-home display.

Will the in-home display cost me anything to run?

Less than £1 a year in electricity.

Will the in-home display only receive information from my meter?

Yes, your in-home display is paired with your smart meter by your smart meter installer, so it only shows information from your own smart meter. It won’t pick up any information from your neighbours, and you won’t be able to take it and use it in another house.


I have an energy monitor. Is that the same as a smart meter?

No. You can buy a whole range of energy monitors that monitor how much electricity you're using, but they can't measure gas or send data about your energy use to your energy supplier.

Only a smart meter can: 

  • get you accurate bills from your energy supplier – no more estimates
  • show you what you’re spending in pounds and pence in near real-time
  • make manual meter readings a thing of the past


Will I still be sent energy statements?

Yes. Your in-home display is for information only. You will still receive regular energy bills in the same way you do now, whether that's in the post or online, but now they'll be accurate, without you having to submit a manual meter reading. Depending on your energy supplier, you may also receive some energy efficiency advice.

What are the standards that smart meters have to meet?

Smart meters are covered by strict UK and EU product safety laws. These ensure that smart meters all have the same high quality and safety standards, regardless of your energy supplier.

Could a smart meter impact my health?

Public Health England sees no risk or dangers to health from smart meters. The smart meters used in Britain have undergone one of the most rigorous safety testing regimes and exceed every UK and EU safety standard.

What health and safety tests have been carried out on smart meters?

The smart meters used in Britain have undergone one of the most rigorous safety testing regimes in the world and exceed every UK and EU safety standard. Public Health England, the government's agency on public health, has said that exposure to radio waves from smart meters is well within guideline levels, and is many times lower than the exposure from wifi and mobile phones.

What different components are there in the smart meter system?

When your energy supplier(s) fits your smart meter, you’ll get the following bits of kit:

  1. Smart gas and electricity meters – these replace your traditional meters. Depending on your supplier, your gas and electricity meters may be replaced at different times.
  2. An in-home display – a handheld digital device that sits in your home and allows you to see how much energy you are using as well as how much it's costing you in pounds and pence, in near real time. This may be called lots of things - like an IHD or smart meter display.

These all come at no extra cost and are fitted by a trained installer.

Where are smart meters manufactured?

Some of the components for smart meters will be manufactured abroad, but factories in the UK are likely to be doing the final assembly and technical configuration of the millions of meters that will be needed for the rollout.