A guide to smart meter data
Every home in Britain is on track to have a smart meter by the end of 2020. At OVO, we want you to be among the first to enjoy this new technology, so we’re working as fast as we can to install meters in all our customers’ homes.
Once you have a smart meter, it’ll ‘talk’ to us, sending us data about how much energy you use and when.
To protect you, the Government has set rules to control how we manage and use all the info we hold about you and your energy. This guide explains what data we collect and what choices you can make about it.
Smart meters record more information than current gas and electricity meters. They regularly check how much energy you’re using and send the figures to us.
Before we fit your meter, we’ll be in touch to give you choices about when you’d like us to collect your info, and how we end up using it. How often they do this is up to you. You can choose half-hourly, daily or once a month – this is called your ‘data preference’. With some of our tariffs or services you may find you have fewer choices.
If you don’t tell us which you’d prefer, we’ll collect the data daily. If, at any stage, we need to make changes to how we collect your info, we’ll let you know and tell you who to get in touch with.
How will we use your info?
- We’ll use it for things like:
- Working out your bills.
- Managing your energy supply.
- Helping us to forecast energy usage more accurately, so we can buy the energy our customers need efficiently.
- Helping you cut your energy use with energy efficiency advice.
- Making our customer service better.
Who else can see it?
If we need to, we might share your smart meter information with:
- Organisations and agents who help us provide your products and services.
- Other energy industry organisations, like network companies, who help manage energy supplies and distribution.
- The police or other organisations, including industry bodies who help spot and stop theft or fraud (under data protection laws).
You can also choose:
- How you want to access information from your smart meter to make managing your energy easier and help reduce your bills.
- Whether you’re happy for your energy data to be shared with other companies.
You can change your mind about any of this at any time.
How do you protect my info?
We use security measures agreed with the government. Only authorised members of the OVO team are allowed to see your information and we’ll only keep it for as long as we need, before securely deleting it. If you switch energy supplier, we can still see data from when we supplied you, but not any new information. The same is true for other organisations who can access this information (we’ll make sure of this).
What are my rights?
We won’t pass your smart meter information to any third parties for marketing, unless you say we can. If we need to give your info to anyone else, we’ll tell you first whenever
possible. You can also ask us not to send you any marketing messages through your In-Home Display (IHD).
How can I see this info?
We’ll tell you how you can see information about the energy you use, whether it’s on our app or on an IHD. You can ask for a copy of your personal information too. We’ll tell you who to contact to get this and if you have to pay a charge for it. If you think any of your details look wrong, we’ll also tell you who to contact.
What’s the Data Protection Act?
You’re always protected under The Data Protection Act 1998 which sets out rights and obligations about the use of personal data – for more information, go to the website of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) at www.ico.gov.uk
Where can I find out more?
Visit www.smartenergygb.org/en to learn about the UK’s smart meter roll-out.
Visit www.energy-uk.org.uk/policy/smart-meters for more details on the energy industry’s smart data policy.
If you’d like independent advice about your rights and choices around the way we collect and use your data, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) will be happy to help. Get in touch with them at www.ico.org.uk or on the ICO Helpline: 0303 123 1113.
Download the full smart meter data guide