Insights / More odd things read about smart meters

Three (more) odd things we’ve read about smart meters: How suppliers use them

23rd September 2020

Welcome to the fifth instalment of our series that investigates some of the strangest rumours we’ve read about smart meters.

Meet smart meter expert and our Head of Data and Data Science, Bjoern Reinke. He talks us through why smart meter installations won’t be used to sell products or hike up electricity prices for consumers.

Read on to bust some smart meter myths.

Odd things we’ve read about smart meters

Will electricity suppliers use smart meter installation visits to sell new products?

Electricity companies aren’t allowed to use smart meter installation appointments in this way. Installations are simply an engineer changing your meter. The only other thing a supplier or engineer will do is provide electricity efficiency advice. The Government regulates smart installations and all suppliers adhere to this. Selling new products isn’t allowed.

Will suppliers increase prices when they see demand is high?

Smart meters are being rolled out for exactly the opposite reason. They help suppliers better understand real-time power use and supply, which means their tariffs reflect a truer cost of electricity in real time.

Unless you opt out, your smart meter will record your electricity use at half-hourly intervals. In the future, this data could mean we give you more relevant offers and tariffs. The better we understand your electricity use, the more efficiently we’ll be able to predict it and offer competitive prices. This could even allow us to create benchmarks of your usage by premises and organisation type.

But the data your smart meter generates is your data. You can always alter how often we receive readings to a daily or even a monthly figure.

Will electricity companies make huge gains from smart meters because they don’t need to pay billing staff?

Smart meters make the way we consume and bill electricity easier to understand for customers. They’ll also provide the infrastructure for a smarter power network. This means our colleagues will be free to do the more interesting and insightful work. Instead of manually updating meter readings across portfolios, they’ll have time to add real value for customers, for example through tailored electricity efficiency advice.

If you’re one of our customers at Drax, we can install a new smart meter for you at no extra cost. To register, click the button below.

Register today