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Smart meters explained

Smart meters are energy-saving dream machines. By allowing you to track your energy use, smart meters encourage you to make small changes to waste less energy – cutting bills and carbon emissions too.

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Smart meters put you in control

That’s because they measure how much energy you use, then share this info with you in your online account and an In-Home Display (IHD). Unlike your old meter, you can see how much energy you’re using – so you can make small changes to stop wasting energy, which can help you save money.

More good news. Smart meters are super secure. 

Smart meters use their own secure network to send us your meter readings – this is separate to your WiFi. 

You decide how regularly they send us your readings, and you can see how much energy you’re using every day on your In-Home Display.

It's easy to get one

You can book an appointment to get your smart meter fitted – free of charge. Here’s everything you need to know about what to do before your smart meter appointment.

There are a few things that may affect how long it takes us to get your new smart meter fitted – such as where you live, the kind of home you live in and the type of meter you have at the moment.

You can book one through your account online or your OVO app. Or by calling us on 03303035063 if you have any questions. 

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Not an OVO member?

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Smart meters come with a lot of benefits

Say hello to a savvier way of controlling your energy. With a smart meter you can:

Track what you're spending in pounds

Spot patterns in your gas and electricity use, and find out where to make savings.

Give meter readings the heave-ho

No more monthly meter readings. Your smart meter will do it for you.

Get more accurate bills

With readings sent to us automatically, there will be no more estimated bills.

Fight the climate crisis, by saving energy

Because when we waste less energy, we cut our carbon emissions too.

How do smart meters work?

Smart meters use their own secure network to send us your meter readings, separate to your WiFi. You decide how regularly they send us your readings, which then determines how detailed the information is on your In-Home Display.

We only install the latest smart meters

These are the catchily named SMETS2 meters that work with all energy suppliers. The earlier type of smart meter called (you guessed it) SMETS1 may stop sending automatic meter readings if you switch suppliers.

Already got SMETS1? Don't worry - a remote national upgrade is being rolled out across the country. This will make sure all types of smart meter work with every supplier. Check out the next generation of smart meter types for more information.

Award winning smart meter service

We're committed to giving our members the best smart meter experience. In the 2020 Uswitch Energy Awards, OVO was rated the best energy supplier in 5 categories including Best Smart Meter Experience and Best Rewards. On top of that, in Uswitch's latest survey of 17,000 households in the UK, we scored 5 stars out of 5. But don't take our word for it - here's what you've been saying about your experiences with our engineers and installations:

"Operative was very friendly and helpful, provided good advice and information on the smart meter and how it operates. Satisfied with the quality of the visit today." Jade D.

"The engineer went above and beyond today, as he noticed my gas cooker was dangerous. He disconnected and capped it off for me, also leaving me with a brand new hot plate to use whilst waiting for a new cooker." Eve M.

Smart meters are an important step in reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, so we've been championing them every step of the way. Over 16.5 million households in Great Britain have smart meters, and that number’s continuing to grow.

If you have smart meter questions, you’re not alone. From safety & security to installation and technology, find all the answers on our smart meters FAQs page

Better
Smart
Energy

Check out Better Smart for even more benefits

Our lowest rate energy plan, powered by a smart meter

Get a smart meter when you join us on our lowest rate with Better Smart – for new members who don't yet have a smart meter.

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Safety during smart meter appointments

 

Yes, smart meter appointments are safely going ahead – with strict safety measures in place. With new restrictions in place across the country, we’re continuing to follow the government's advice.

 

Yes, smart meter appointments are safely going ahead - with strict safety measures in place. With new restrictions in place across the country, we're continuing to follow the government's advice.

We can only carry out appointments where it’s safe to do so. This means we still won’t be carrying out non-emergency appointments in homes where anyone is unwell or self-isolating from coronavirus.

We install smart meters because they help you to manage your energy better. Smart meters send readings automatically, so you get more accurate bills, and a clearer understanding of how you’re using energy - meaning you have a chance to cut energy use and carbon emissions. 

Our full risk assessment for smart meter operations can be found here and for office workers here. You can also see confirmation that we comply with the government guidance on Staying COVID-19 Secure here.

Our top priority is the safety of you and our teams. Our engineers are trained to take strict precautions to keep everyone safe, while they carry out smart meter appointments. They’ll be wearing PPE, and they’ll observe social distancing while in your home – keeping at least 2m away from you and asking you to stay in another room if possible. Before they enter your home, they’ll check that no one is self isolating. And, if this is the case, they won’t be able to carry out the installation.
 

Our top priority is the same: to keep you and our teams safe. They're specially trained to take strict precautions while they're inside your home. We'll be following all the latest government guidance - including in areas where a local lockdown is in place: 

  • On the day of your appointment, our team will call ahead to check it’s still safe to visit. They’ll ask if anyone in your household is unwell, or self-isolating. If this is the case, your appointment will need to be rescheduled.
  • When the engineer arrives, they’ll check this again with you in person.
  • Our engineers will wear masks while they're in your home. The only time they might remove their mask is when it's safe to do so - for example, if they're working alone in a room - and they'll always check with you beforehand. 
  • Our engineers will also be observing social distancing, which includes asking you to stay safe in another room while they work. Wherever possible, please give the engineer space to work safely.  
  • Our engineer may take more frequent breaks to get fresh air. They will also ask you to open windows and doors close to the meter for the duration of their visit.

To minimise the time our engineers spend in your home, they may work in a slightly different way to usual. This means that they might install a smart meter but not switch on its smart functions. Don’t worry, you’ll still be left with a working meter. And, if any of this happens we’ll return as soon as we can to finish the job. 

All our engineers will stop working immediately if anyone shows any symptoms of coronavirus, during their visit. 

Important: if you or anyone in your home feels unwell before your appointment, please give us a call on 0330 303 5063 and we’ll work through your options. 

Unfortunately not. We’re taking strict measures to keep both you and our teams safe, so this means we’re not able to carry out smart meter appointments for people who are self-isolating. 

Yes, no problem - you can reschedule the appointment by calling us on 0330 303 5063. 

Important: if you’re showing any symptoms of coronavirus, please make sure to reschedule for after the two week self-isolation period. 

No, we won’t charge you a cancellation fee if you need to cancel because of a coronavirus-related situation, or if you become unwell. 

We’re now able to carry out smart meter appointments everywhere we have engineers operating. You can check their availability here  

You can take the following steps to make sure things are as safe as possible: 

  • Before your appointment, disinfect the area around your meter where the engineer will be working. Do this again after they leave.
  • Open windows and doors in the room where the engineer will be working. 
  • Make sure the engineer has clear access to your meters, and they’re free from clutter. 
  • Stay at least 2m away from the engineer at all times. If possible, go into a different room while they’re installing your meter, and make sure pets are kept out of the way. 

We’ll call you the day before your appointment to check it’s still safe for us to visit. Please tell us if you or anyone in your household is unwell or self-isolating. When the engineer arrives, they will check this with you again. 

When you book, we’ll share even more info about what to do before, during and after your appointment, to stay as safe as possible. 

If you’re not able to maintain social distancing of at least 2m during your appointment (because of the size/layout of your home or for any other reason) then please don’t book one. We won’t be able to carry it out safely. 

If you’ve already booked a smart meter appointment but you don’t think you’ll be able to maintain social distancing, please cancel. You can do this via your appointment confirmation email, through your online account or on our app. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you need to be an OVO member before booking an appointment with us. Click here to join us. 

Smart meters come with an optional (and free of charge) In-Home Display, which shows you how much energy you’re using and what it’s costing you. You can see how much you're using now or how much you’ve used over the last hours, days, weeks or months. Log in to your account online to learn more about your energy use, costs and how this compares to what you've used in the past. You can also upgrade your plan to OVO Beyond for insights into how to cut your energy use, and to supercharge your journey to zero carbon. You’ll find more info and how to sign up in your account online.

The Smart Metering Installation Code of Practice (SMICoP) is a set of rules and standards that make sure that you get a great experience and quality of service when you’re having your smart meter installed. 

At OVO, we've signed up to this code of practice (of course). And naturally we always do our best to ensure our engineer are fully trained to give you an excellent service.

The code covers many parts of the installation process, like:

  • Helping you understand how to use your smart equipment, so you can get the most from it.
  • Making sure our engineers are trained to the highest standards.
  • Giving you all the info you need.
  • Giving extra support to anyone who is vulnerable of who might need special help.
  • Showing you how to check your energy use - so you can spot patterns and make small changes that could help you save energy.
  • Keeping you informed, quickly, on progress if something's not right with your smart equipment.

Smart meters have been rigorously tested for safety. They’ve passed all the UK and EU regulations that make sure a product is safe. All the same regulations that your phone, microwave, and TV will have had to pass too.

Your smart meter automatically sends us readings. This means your bills are accurate and we can tell quickly if there’s any interruption to your supply.

We can check the info from your smart meter, and use it to:

  • Manage your energy supply, and spot any problems as soon as they happen.

  • Give you relevant advice to help you reduce your energy use and lower your bills.

  • Improve our service to you and other members.

  • Develop and manage energy supply and demand.

If we need to use the information for anything else, we’ll get in touch to talk it through with you and explain why. 

Smart meters are super secure. We use safety measures agreed with the government (like encryption) to make sure that any data your smart meter shares with us is always safe and private. We also follow strict rules set out by the industry regulator, OFGEM, and all your personal data is safeguarded by the Data Protection Act too.

Smart meters don't use the internet and have their own closed communications system. It's been designed with top cybersecurity experts, including the government's security and intelligence organisation, GCHQ. This means your data can't be seen by anyone but you and us.

Yes you can: having a smart meter doesn’t change your right to switch energy suppliers. Here are a few things to know before you switch;

  • If you have a latest generation SMETS2 meter, you'll be able to switch without an issue.
  • If you have a first-generation SMETS1 meter you might find that your meter loses some of its whizzy smart benefits. But the good news is that thanks to a remote software update planned to finish by the end of 2021, all smart meters will soon be compatible with all suppliers.

Thinking about switching to OVO? You can find more about our energy plans and get a quote here.

We ask you to choose how often your smart meter sends readings when you first book an appointment. You can change this anytime after the installation, by calling us.

The more often you share your readings, the more feedback we'll be able to give you... which can help you save energy.

  • Sharing half-hourly readings can help you understand more about your energy use. (Most OVO members choose this option.)  

  • Sharing daily readings means you won't get as much info about your energy use. (It's 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.

If you have a smart meter your readings will update automatically, so there’s nothing to worry about.

We’re asking anyone who doesn’t have a smart meter to submit their readings through their online account or in the OVO app. This is because we’re now only able to take emergency calls, so we can help those who need us most. It’s really easy to submit readings this way – and we thank you for your support. To help, we've created some short videos showing you how.

If your online account looks like the picture below, you can watch this video on how to submit meter readings:

Or if your account looks like this, here's the video for you:

To submit a meter reading online, log into your account, here.

Or download the OVO app for Android here or for iOS here.

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