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What is a smart meter?

Following on…

Following the success of the first Warm Hubs Event in Powburn, Community Action Northumberland has provided the following relevant information to further help people reduce their energy bills.

What is a smart meter?

Smart meters are the new generation of gas and electricity meters. They show you the amount of energy you use as you use it and how much you are spending in pounds and pence. Your energy supplier(s) will install at no cost to you, this will replace your old meter:

  • A smart electricity meter
  • A smart gas meter (unless you are not on the gas mains, you can still have just an electricity meter)

And when your meter is installed you will also be given an in-home display.

What the in-home display shows you

On an in-home display, you’ll be able to clearly see:

  • how much energy you’re using in near real time
  • how much energy was used in the last hour, week, and month (and what it cost)
  • whether your electricity use is high, medium or low
  • updates in near real time for electricity and every half hour for gas.
  • Any credit you have on your account

If you have a prepay meter, it will also show:

  • how much credit you have left
  • how much you have on your emergency credit balance
  • your debt balance (if you have one)
  • if your credit’s getting low.

Smart meters and the wireless system

Inside your home, smart meters use their own secure, wireless network using radio waves, just like mobile phones or TVs do. (It won’t use your wifi and you don’t need wifi in your home for it to work).

Your smart meters will link to a similar wireless network outside your home. This network is run by the new Data and Communications Company, which is overseen by the energy regulator Ofgem.

There are strict new regulations and codes of practice to keep smart meter data private and secure

What data is taken and how is it used?

Smart meters store data abut what energy you’ve used, but not personal data about you. Your energy use is displayed on a screen for you to see and with your permission is also shared with your energy supplier, who is sent your meter readings.

How can I get a smart meter?

We’re all entitled to a smart meter and your energy supplier will contact you between now and 2020 to arrange your installation at no extra cost.

Some of us will have to wait longer than others to get our meter, but you can ask your energy supplier directly to see if you can have yours fitted now. How soon you can get your meter depends on your energy supplier, where you live and what kind of home you live in.

There are three straightforward steps to getting a smart meter installed:

  1. Ask your supplier – we’ll all be offered a smart meter by 2020. Contact yours directly to see if you can get a smart meter fitted now.
  2. You fix a time and day for your supplier to come and install your smart meter (either you, or if you can’t be there yourself, a nominated, responsible adult will need to be present during installation).
  3. Your supplier fits the meter and shows you how to use the inhome display.

For more information:

https://www.smartenergygb.org/en/about-smart-meters/what-is-a-smart-meter

or contact Christine Nicholls 01289 304141 christinenicholls@ca-north.org.uk

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