smart meters

Smart meters

Helping you save energy, reduce your bills and tackle the climate crisis

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.

What is a smart meter?


A smart meter is a digital gas or electricity meter that communicates with your energy supplier so they can get your readings automatically. It measures how much energy you use – then shares this info with you, in your online account and on an In-Home Display (IHD).

Unlike your old meter, you can see how much energy you’re using on the IHD, while you’re using it – so you can make small changes to stop wasting energy, help tackle climate change and cut your bills.

What is a smart meter?


A smart meter is a digital gas or electricity meter that communicates with your energy supplier so they can get your readings automatically. It measures how much energy you use – then shares this info with you, in your online account and on an In-Home Display (IHD).

Unlike your old meter, you can see how much energy you’re using on the IHD, while you’re using it – so you can make small changes to stop wasting energy, help tackle climate change and cut your bills.

The benefits of smart meters:

Say hello to the modern way of controlling your home energy.

Track what you're spending in pounds and pence

Tweaking your energy use can make a big difference to your bill.

Get more accurate bills

Readings are sent automatically, so there’ll be no more estimated bills.

Say goodbye to meter readings

Your smart meter will do the readings, so you don’t have to.

Fight the climate crisis, by saving energy

Cutting your energy use means cutting down on carbon emissions too.

How to get a smart meter


It couldn’t be simpler to get a smart meter. You can book your free installation through your online account or on your OVO app. If you've got any questions, speak to one of our expert advisers in our online chat.

All you need to do is:

  1. Answer a couple of quick questions about your home and current meter set-up – so we can be sure our engineer has everything they need 
  2. Choose a convenient time and date for the installation – you can pick a 4 hour slot from 8am to 6pm, including Saturdays 
  3. Our engineer will visit your home to install your carbon-kicking kit!
I want a smart meter
get a smart meter

How to get a smart meter


It couldn’t be simpler to get a smart meter. You can book your free installation through your online account or on your OVO app. If you've got any questions, speak to one of our expert advisers in our online chat.

All you need to do is:

  1. Answer a couple of quick questions about your home and current meter set-up – so we can be sure our engineer has everything they need 
  2. Choose a convenient time and date for the installation – you can pick a 4 hour slot from 8am to 6pm, including Saturdays 
  3. Our engineer will visit your home to install your carbon-kicking kit!
I want a smart meter
get a smart meter

What to expect on installation day


It’s a safe, hassle-free installation that takes about an hour for one meter, and 90 minutes for both gas and electric meters. Our engineer will simply remove your old gas and electricity meters and replace them with smart meters. 

And to keep everyone safe – our engineers are following all the latest rules around safety and social distancing.  

At this point, our engineer will also offer you an In-Home Display (IHD). This is a handy touch-screen device that displays your smart meter data, in real time.

smart meters readings sent over wifi

What to expect on installation day


It’s a safe, hassle-free installation that takes about an hour for one meter, and 90 minutes for both gas and electric meters. Our engineer will simply remove your old gas and electricity meters and replace them with smart meters. 

And to keep everyone safe – our engineers are following all the latest rules around safety and social distancing.  

At this point, our engineer will also offer you an In-Home Display (IHD). This is a handy touch-screen device that displays your smart meter data, in real time.

smart meters readings sent over wifi

How smart meters work


Smart meters use their own secure network to automatically and wirelessly send us your meter readings – without relying on your WiFi signal. These regular updates mean you’ll receive accurate, rather than estimated bills.

You decide how regularly your smart meter sends us your readings:

  • Half-hourly
  • Daily
  • Monthly 

The more frequently the readings are sent, the more detailed information you’ll see on your online account. And the more information you have, the easier it is to tweak your energy use and save money!

secure data send with smart meters

How smart meters work


Smart meters use their own secure network to automatically and wirelessly send us your meter readings – without relying on your WiFi signal. These regular updates mean you’ll receive accurate, rather than estimated bills.

You decide how regularly your smart meter sends us your readings:

  • Half-hourly
  • Daily
  • Monthly 

The more frequently the readings are sent, the more detailed information you’ll see on your online account. And the more information you have, the easier it is to tweak your energy use and save money!

secure data send with smart meters

Award winning smart meter service

We want to give our members the best smart meter experience possible – in the 2021 Uswitch Energy Awards, we were runners-up for the Best Smart Meter Installation. And on top of that, in Uswitch's latest customer ratings survey of 17,000 households in the UK, we scored 4.5 stars out of 5 overall. But don't take our word for it – here's what you've been saying about your experiences with our engineers and installations.

"OVO smart meter experience was fantastic. The engineer wore PPE and was very friendly and professional." Tracy

"The appointment was very easy to book, communication was great, the engineer called to confirm, turned up on time. He was polite, courteous and professional. Great job!"  Charles

Learn more about smart meters

energy use

See your energy use at a glance

Track your energy in real time with your In-home Display (IHD), so you can keep your home cosy and your costs down.

Read all about IHDs
smart meter installation

What happens during installation?

It takes around an hour for our expert engineer to replace each meter with a smart meter.

Learn about installations
switch suppliers with a smart meter

How can smart meters help you save money?

There are a few ways that smart meters could help you save on your energy bill costs.

Start saving now

Your smart meter questions answered

Smart meter installations are absolutely free for all our members. If you’re not already an OVO member, join us on our Better Smart energy plan for the lowest prices and get your smart meter installed for free.

We are only installing SMETS2 smart meters – the kind that work with all energy suppliers. If you already have a first generation smart meter (SMETS1) installed, you don’t need to do anything. These older meters are being upgraded remotely, so they’ll soon work with all suppliers too.

The UK government plans to get smart meters installed into every home and business by 2024, in their mission to reach zero carbon by 2050.

Smart meters can't collect personal information like your name, your address or your bank account details. Your meter can only collect meter readings, supply numbers and the meter serial number – and they're all protected by law. You can choose how often your smart meter shares this information with your supplier – half-hourly, daily or monthly. To find out how OVO protects your data, read our smart meter data guide.

Yes. But if you’re not an OVO member yet, you can sign up to our Better Smart tariff and get a smart meter installed for free.

Smart meters work in almost every home. But in some circumstances it might not be possible to install one just yet. Give us a call today and we can assess whether you’ll be able to have a smart meter installed.

No WiFi is necessary. The smart meter communicates with the supplier through a Wide Area Network (WAN) connection and with your IHD through a Home Area Network (HAN) connection.

Yes you can. Boost is the smart way to pay as you go. We’ll install a PAYG smart meter in your home for free. This will allow  you to take control of your energy use and top up any time you like, directly from your phone. If you’re looking to move away from a PAYG plan, you may be able to get a cheaper tariff with OVO. Get a quote in under 2 minutes, and find out how much our competitive rates could save you.

Yes! As long as you're the one paying the bills, you can get a smart meter. It’s a good idea to let your landlord know, just in case there are any rules in your contract against such changes. But landlords shouldn’t say no to a smart meter without good reason. Take a look at our Renter’s guide to smart meters for the complete lowdown.

Your smart meter will help you learn more about the energy you use, so that you can cut out waste – leading to lower energy bills. For example, it can show you how much it costs when you boil a kettle, or use the tumble dryer. This will help you make small changes to reduce your energy use and cut your bills. The automatic readings will also make your bills more accurate, so you only pay for what you use. But, if you don't take action to use less energy, you won't save any money just by getting a smart meter.

This can be done in 2 ways. Firstly – in your online account you can see how much energy you’ve used. Plus, it can give you lots of detailed insights that can help you better manage your energy. Secondly, the In-Home Display gives you instant real-time feedback which can help you make changes to cut use – keep it handy so you can glance at it during the day.

Your IHD is a small handheld screen which shows the energy use in your home. Read all about how to use it in our guide.

Like a traditional meter, smart meters have a number that counts up to show how much gas or electricity you've used. The main difference is that the numbers are on a screen, instead of an analogue dial. That means you can still read them like your old meter if you want to, but you won't need to share your readings with us because we'll get them automatically. Read our step-by-step instructions on how to read your smart meter.

Yes you can! Find out more in our guide about switching suppliers with a smart meter.

You can book an appointment to get a shiny next-generation smart meter (SMETS2) by visiting your online account or by calling us. If you have a first-generation (SMETS1) meter, the national upgrade will happen remotely and your meter should start sending readings to your supplier without needing a visit from an engineer.

The Smart Metering Installation Code of Practice (SMICoP) is a set of rules and standards to be followed when installing a new smart meter. Read our guide for more information.

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.

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 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. 

The only time we may carry out an appointment for people who are self-isolating, is if it’s an emergency, and you’re at risk of losing your gas or electricity supply.

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.