Having a smart meter doesn’t affect your right to switch energy providers whenever you want. So if you’ve had a smart meter installed but you want to move to a new supplier, you will still be able to do so.
However, you may find your smart meter loses its functionality and reverts to being a traditional meter. If so, you might have to go back to giving regular meter readings to your new supplier. And if anything goes wrong, some suppliers may have to replace your smart meter with a standard meter because they’re not equipped to deal with your particular model of smart meter.
If you're switching to OVO and you have a smart meter, it will only keep its functionality if you’re switching from First Utility, Utilita or E.ON, as they are currently the only other providers that use Secure smart meters like ours.
However, even if you are switching from one of those energy companies, we still may not be able to communicate with their Secure smart meters. It will depend on the setup of the meters at the time you switch.
Check with us first to make sure you can keep using your smart meter and all its functionality, or whether it will lose its functionality when you switch. Make a note of your meter serial number, and the make and model of your smart meter, and ask us whether our systems can exchange information with it. This is particularly important if you’re a Pay As You Go customer.
In general, if your new and old suppliers both use the same make of smart meter, you may be able to continue using your current meter/s in the same way and simply transfer the functionality to your new energy account. So if you’re switching away from OVO to First Utility, Utilita or E.ON, they may be able to communicate with your meter, depending on the setup of your meters.
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’ll switch back to PAYG as soon as you’ve successfully transferred to the new supplier.
If your new supplier doesn’t yet use Secure smart meters, you can either ask to swap to their brand of Smart PAYG meter or keep using a traditional meter without the Smart technology.
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 read your consumption amounts in kWh, but 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 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.
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.