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National update of SMETS1 meters

If you’ve got questions about the national update of SMETS1 (first-generation) smart meters, you’ll find the answers here.

What’s a SMETS1 meter?

A SMETS1 meter is a first-generation smart meter. Energy suppliers like us have been installing them since 2013, but lots of these meters stopped sending automatic readings if you changed supplier. 


Why does my smart meter need to be updated?

To get the full benefits of smart meters, the government has decided that there should be one new unified smart meter data network. This makes smart meters work more effectively with all energy suppliers, improving the efficiency of the grid and helping us all to cut carbon emissions.

Once your SMETS1 smart meter has been updated to this single network, you’ll also be able to switch suppliers without your meter losing its smart features. 

Smart meters automatically send meter readings to your energy supplier. This means your bills are more accurate, and you can see how much energy you’re using online – or on your In-Home Display (IHD). 


How will the update change my smart meter? 

If your meter is dormant (not sending any readings), then it should become ‘active’ after the update, which means it will automatically start sending meter readings to us. It’s totally secure and works in the same way for every supplier.


Is my smart meter data safe?

Yes, your data is safe. The Data Communications Company (DCC) is responsible for protecting your data. Their network has the highest security standards, reviewed by the National Cyber Security Centre.

This update doesn’t change the way we use your smart meter data either. We’ll still be the only people that can see how much energy you’re using, and when you’re using it. And we can only see your data with your approval. Read more about our data security, here.


How will the update happen? 

Your smart meter will be updated wirelessly, so you won’t need a visit from an engineer – and there won’t be any disruption to your energy supply.


Who’s responsible for the update?

The Data Communications Company (DCC) will update all SMETS1 meters. The DCC is licensed by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to build and maintain the UK’s wireless national smart meter network. This network connects smart meters with energy suppliers and network operators – and it’s endorsed by the National Cyber Security Centre. 


What happens if the update doesn’t work? 

The DCC will try to fix the issue again. They might try several times, for up to 12 months, until it works – and we'll let you know when that happens. If the DCC can’t complete the update, we'll contact you to get a new (SMETS2) smart meter installed.


Is the update optional?

This update isn’t optional because all SMETS1 meters need to be updated and connected to the Data Communications Company (DCC) by summer 2021. It’s a government initiative so everyone has to do it – not just OVO members.


What are the smart meter reading options? How are they different?

The more often you share your readings, the more feedback you’ll get that can help you save energy.

  • Sharing half-hourly readings can help you understand more about your energy use. (Most OVO members choose half-hourly readings.)
  • Sharing daily readings means you won’t get as much information about your energy use. (This is the default option if you don’t tell us otherwise.) 
  • Sharing monthly readings means you won’t receive feedback about your energy use on a day-to-day basis.

With our sustainable upgrade, OVO Beyond BETA, sharing half-hourly data means you get personalised insights and energy-saving actions to help lower your bills – by up to 10%! 

Find out more about meter readings and billing here. For more information about Direct Debits, click here.


How do I update the frequency of my smart meter readings? 

You can choose how often your meter readings are sent to us – and change it at any time in the future – by calling us on 0330 303 5063 (Monday to Friday, 8am-6pm).