How do my smart meters communicate?

The great thing about smart meters is the way they ‘talk’ to each other and to us. They also talk to you, through interactive visual displays.

Your smart electricity meter communicates with your other smart devices and technology via two wireless networks: the HAN (home area network) and WAN (wide area network). 

The HAN is a secure network that works in the same way as other wireless systems in your home. It allows your smart electricity meter to communicate with your smart gas meter and with your In-Home Display (IHD), Smart Gateway or home computer. Your smart electricity meter uses the HAN to talk to your smart gas meter and collect your gas readings. Your gas meter can’t send us your readings on its own, or send data to your In-Home Display or other devices.

The HAN uses a network called Zigbee, which is very similar to Wi-fi and Bluetooth. It has a range of 15 metres (imagine a bubble around the electricity meter). However, this can only reach other meters or devices within its ‘sightline’ – so walls will reduce this range.

In order for a Smart device, such as an In-Home Display or Smart Gateway, to talk to the electric meter’s HAN, it needs to be within range of the meter.

Communicating with your energy supplier

The WAN (wide area network) is the same kind of network your mobile phone uses to send and receive data. It allows your smart electricity meter to communicate securely outside your home, using the mobile network.

Once your smart electricity meter has gathered readings from your smart gas meter it uses the WAN to send them, together with your electricity readings, to your energy supplier.

Does my smart meter still record readings if it can’t communicate with you?

Sometimes your smart electricity meter may have trouble communicating with us because of signal issues in your area. If so, we won’t be able to receive readings from your home. There are a few ways in which we might be able to help you resolve this issue but it depends on your circumstances, so it’s best to get in touch and ask us about this.

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