If you use a smart meter you can still change energy providers. However, you might discover that one or more of your smart products (your smart meter, Smart Gateway or In-Home Display) isn’t compatible with your new supplier.
Will my smart meter still work if I move to a different energy company?
With some suppliers, your smart meter could lose its functionality and become a traditional meter. In that case, you might need to start giving regular meter readings to your new energy company. There could also be difficulties if something goes wrong, as your new provider may not be able to sort out problems with your brand of smart meter. If so, they might need to replace your smart meter with a standard model.
Before you switch, make sure you’ve checked with your new supplier
Talk to your new supplier about keeping your smart meter, and ask them whether it will still work and have all its functionality, or whether it will become a traditional meter when you switch. This is particularly important if you’re a Pay As You Go customer. If your new and old suppliers both use the same brand of smart meter, you should be able to continue using your current meter/s and simply transfer the functionality to your new energy account. To find out, make a note of your meter serial number, and the make and model of your smart meter, and ask your new provider whether their systems can exchange information with it.
Which energy providers are compatible with OVO Smart products?
At OVO we use Secure smart meters. The only other suppliers currently using the same kind of Secure smart meters are E.ON, First Utility and Utilita. So if you decide to move to one of those suppliers, they’ll be able to communicate with your OVO smart meter. And, of course, if you want to switch away from E.ON, First Utility or Utilita and join us at OVO, your smart meter should still work with us. However, it might not work if you’ve had a smart meter for a long time, and your supplier was using a different meter model or manufacturer at that stage. If you move between OVO and any provider that isn’t mentioned above, your meter will become a traditional meter – but this could be only temporary – see below.
If you’re a prepayment or PAYG customer with a smart meter, you’ll almost certainly lose the smart functionality in your meter unless your new supplier’s system can communicate with it. We’ll change your meter to ‘credit mode’ before you leave us, to make sure your energy isn’t cut off during the switch process. If your new supplier uses Secure smart meters and can communicate with your meter, you may be able to switch back to PAYG once you’ve successfully transferred to the new supplier. This will depend on their processes and current technology – we suggest you talk to them before you switch to find out.
When will all smart meters and energy providers become compatible?
There is no specific date at the moment when every supplier will have to switch to the same technology. Larger suppliers will need to meet the guidelines within a few years but smaller energy companies can take longer – and if the switch runs into unforeseen problems the government will reassess and possibly extend the timescale.
Will my Smart Gateway still work with a different energy provider?
If you’re switching with a Smart Gateway, you’ll find it won’t work with any other energy company’s meters, as you need to be able to access the data through My OVO. And if you’re switching to OVO from any other company, your current Smart Gateway won’t work with us, because it will be linked to your existing energy company’s website. The same applies if you’re on our Smart PAYG+ plan and check your energy use online through My OVO or the OVO Energy app. Your smart meter won’t be able to send information to another company’s website.
What happens to my IHD if I switch suppliers?
If you have an IHD (In-Home Display), and your new provider uses exactly the same brand of meters as your old supplier, you should be able to carry on using it.
So, for example, if you’re moving from E.ON, First Utility or Utilita to OVO, your IHD will still work, and you’ll be able to read your consumption amounts in kWh. However, your new supplier will need to reprogramme your meter with their rates and your new tariff before the IHD can tell you how much you’re actually spending on your energy.
Talk to your new supplier about this, and if their system is not compatible with your IHD, ask whether they can offer you a replacement at no extra charge.
What should I do if my energy supplier makes it difficult for me to switch?
If you have any problems, please get in touch with Citizens Advice through their website or you can call them on 03454 04 05 06.