Smart Meters

The truth about Smart Meters - the good and the bad

Simple diagram showing how meters and IHD connect.

Energy supply companies have been installing smart meters for electricity and gas in homes across Great Britain since 2012. By 2025, all residential and small businesses across England, Scotland and Wales will be offered a smart meter by their energy supplier.

In Northern Ireland the Department for the Economy (DfE) has recommended an electricity smart meter roll-out over six years starting in 2027. A gas roll-out won't be included as the benefits were not sufficient.

A smart meter sends an electronic meter reading to your energy supplier, meaning:

  • they won't need to take a manual meter reading - as the meters send back readings themselves;
  • you won't get estimated bills - as actual readings are available;
  • it'll be easier to switch energy suppliers - as the reading at changeover is readily available;
  • there should be less arguments - as the readings are reliable and not subject to disagreement.

You'll also get a digital display in your home, helping you to keep track of how much energy you're using and how much it's costing.

You won't have to pay for your smart meter or digital display up front - the cost will be included in everyone's energy bill over the next few years.

A smart meter won't change how you currently pay for your energy bill, e.g. monthly, or prepaid. This will still be determined by the product and payment method you choose.

Many people have questions about Smart Meters, this website tries to answer them honestly for electricity and gas meters, thoroughly and without bias. This site does not deal with Smart water meters as our team do not have expertise in that area.

(Page updated: 2023-09-02)

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