Smart meter FAQs
Q. How do I read my smart meter?
A: One of the benefits of smart meters is that you won’t have to submit meter reads anymore. But if you ever need to check your electricity use, or browse the options, the steps you need to take depend on the meter you have. Use our meter reading guide to find out how to use each type of meter.
Q. Are smart meters bad for people's health?
A: The smart meters available for installation in Britain have passed rigorous safety tests and exceed all the relevant UK and EU safety standards.
In addition, Public Health England sees no causes for concern regarding any risk or dangers to health from smart meters.
Q. Do smart meters interfere with other devices?
A: No, this won’t happen, since there’s legislation to prevent interference. What’s more, smart meter manufacturers have designed the devices to ensure they don’t interfere with other products or appliances.
Q. What information will my smart meter store?
A: While your smart meter stores data about how much electricity you’ve used, it doesn’t retain any personal information that could identify you. For example, it has no record of your name, address, or bank account details.
Strict controls, backed up by legislation, protect the information about your energy usage – and who can access it. You can choose:
- How you want to have your data shared – including whether to share your usage data with other organisations (e.g. switching sites)
- How often your smart meter sends the data to your supplier (monthly is minimum; daily or half-hourly are optional)
- If your supplier can use your meter readings for sales and marketing purposes
You may also like to look at Drax’s Privacy Notice.
Q. What's the difference between SMETS1 and SMETS2 meters?
A: SMETS stands for Smart Metering Equipment Technical Specification; the '1' and '2' refer to the first- and second-generation meters that electricity suppliers are installing.
A SMETS1 meter supports accurate bills by supplying near real-time electricity consumption information. However, users may lose smart services if they switch to another supplier.
This is because individual electricity suppliers have installed SMETS1 meters that use their own data and communications systems, rather than one national network that everyone can access.
Drax’s solution to this issue is simple – to only install SMETS2 meters, which communicate via the Data & Communications Co (DCC) smart metering network.
This means that SMETS2 meters are compatible across the industry and customers will be able to switch to another supplier without losing the benefits that their smart meter delivers.
Q. Where can I get more information about smart?
A: Here are some links to extra info on smart:
Smart Meters: a guide (Dept. for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy)
Getting a smart meter installed (Citizens Advice)
Smart energy GB (Organisation encouraging engagement with smart meters)
SMICoP (Smart Metering Installation Code of Practice)
Transition to smart meters (Office of Gas and Electricity Markets – Ofgem)
Energy UK (Energy industry trade association – Drax is a member)
DCC (Data Communications Co – UK smart metering network)