Smart meters

What do people think about smart meters? I think I mainly want one to save having to take meter readings so I signed up to the waiting list with bulb. When I looked into it I found out if your meter is in a metal box they can’t install it so that’s me out.

There seems to be a lot of reasons you can’t get one but the government wants everyone to have one :thinking:

What can’t be in metal box? Gas/electric meter?

I had them year ago. They are really useful if supplier have mobile application to monitor usage. Used SSE pilot application was really nice but they decided to scrap it so I switched to :octopus:

1 Like

Check your electricity meter isn’t in a metal box. Some meters are stored inside a metal box. This disrupts the signal that enables meters to send readings back to Bulb. If your meter is in a metal box, we won’t be able to install a smart meter.

I imagine that will rule a lot of people out unless there is some sort of solution to this.

1 Like

I used to have one in my old house. They’re handy, especially the display that shows your current and projected usage, but the first batch of smart meters turn “dumb” if you move to a different supplier. The second batch, rolling out shortly, will work across different suppliers. I’m not going to request one until I know it’ll be a version 2 meter.

1 Like

I’ve had a smart meter since they first came out, no idea where I put the display unit though, It helped me ensure I turn lights off and so on, which I do years later still without checking the display unit.


I do actually want smart meters. Not necessarily because they will save me money on energy, they won’t, as I have always taken my own meter readings monthly for the almost 20 years I’ve lived at my address. I want smart meters because at the end of the day, although ‘free’ at the point of installation, they certainly aren’t ‘free’, everyone is paying for the ruddy things out of their energy bills whether you have them or not, so I might as well have them fitted.

I don’t have metal boxes and the house is less than 20 years old, so it shouldn’t preclude me from having meters, but as above, I won’t accept meters unless they are SMETS2. Funnily enough, my energy company had a pop up on their site just the other day stating that they will be offering smart meters very soon to those that want them, however once my present energy fix is over, I’m not sure yet whether or not I’ll be staying with them, only using MSE guidance will decide whether or not to move supplier.

But overall as energy useage goes, well I had a brand new boiler fitted last year and I’ve definitely seen an overall reduction in gas useage. I also have Hive fitted which in my opinon, really is the best thing since sliced bread. I have full control over my energy/hot water from anywhere in the world with a wifi link, brilliant for when I’m away on holiday. I can switch lights on and off, put the water back on the day I fly home etc.

1 Like

Had one in my flat before we moved out, given it was an old victorian tenement… the ceilings were 9ft high and so were the meters. So saved me having to get step ladder out to take meter readings.

Not sure if we have smart meters in the house… we probably do (house is literally 2 months old today)

I have a British Gas one.

At first I thought this is cool I can see what I am using and I used to use it as a clock and show temperature in the bedroom, now I have moved it to the kitchen and don’t even bother looking at it.

Pointless now imo

Ive got an SSE one which has just turned dumb since Ive just switched suppliers. Previously it was handy to know how much we’d spent over the course of the day. If you budget your household expenses then they are a good tool to have.

1 Like

I had smart meters installed by OVO Energy and have moved suppliers twice since then and they’ve luckily worked seamlessly with both Octopus Energy and now Tonik too.
I did have the smart meter display thing on the wall, but hardly ever looked at it, so saved more electricity by unplugging it and it’s now on a shelf in the garage!

The best energy saving I’ve done is replace all the halogen bulbs in my house with LED ones, reducing my 2KW usage to 200w!

1 Like

SMETS1 meters should eventually be able to join the SMETS2 network through a firmware upgrade. So apparently even if they’ve gone ‘dumb’ after a provider change they will become smart again. Problem is, there is some disagreement about when this will be completed…

My dumb meter became smart when my supplier decided to upgrade its software.

The meter itself is only dumb because the supplier can’t read the data it sends, that is more a software / firmware issue more than to do with the smart meter itself.

So I found out why the original smart meters don’t work sometimes when you switch companies, and its nothing to do with the meter itself, I quote

Smart meters don’t use your Wi-Fi connection. In fact, you don’t even need to have Wi-Fi in your home for your smart technology to work. Current generation smart meters contain SIM cards and transfer data directly to your supplier via a wireless network using radio waves. This process is similar to the technology used with mobile phones. Public Health England, the government’s agency on public health, has concluded that smart meters pose no danger to your wellbeing. The exposure to radio waves from a smart meter is in fact far lower than other everyday devices such as TVs and microwaves.

The system that gathers information from smart meters is made up of two main radio parts. The home area network (HAN) sends information to the In-Home Display and allows the smart electricity meter to talk to the smart gas meter, and the wide area network (WAN) communicates information between the meter and the supplier.

These networks are secure, helped by a high-level security system developed by leading experts in industry and government. No personal information is stored on your smart meter, and third parties will not be able to access your data for sales or marketing purposes without your consent.

The Data Communications Company

At present, not all suppliers use the same system communication network, so if you switch it may be difficult for a new supplier to automatically receive your meter readings and you may lose some smart functionality. However, the energy industry is in the process of implementing a single communication system for smart meters, the Data Communications Company. The DCC uses a secure national network, ensuring that when you switch, your smart meter will continue to communicate with your new supplier.

The first generation of smart meters, known as SMETS1, may lose some smart functionality when customers change supplier. The latest generation of smart meters, known as SMETS2, are operated through the DCC network, meaning that customers with these meters will retain their smart functionality regardless of who their energy supplier is. At the same time, DCC is working with energy suppliers to enrol all SMETS1 meters into their network. This means that everyone should be able to keep their smart benefits if they decide to switch supplier.