Smart meter FAQs

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Like anything new, there has been some bad press against smart meters to put the Great British public on edge. So we've put together some myths and facts to put your mind at rest.


Are smart meters safe?


Smart meters comply with strict UK and EU product safety laws standards and undergo rigorous safety testing regimes. All our engineers are fully trained and gas safe registered. During installations, they run a series of tests to ensure that the smart meter is operating properly and perform safety checks in order to identify any risks to gas appliances at no extra cost.

In fact, in 2017 and 2018, smart meter engineers spotted more than 635,000 unsafe situations not related to smart meters. These engineer checks led to a safer environment.

Are smart meter installations safe?


Our smart meters are always installed by our trained expert engineers. We install in accordance with...

Can smart meters be hacked?


The information your smart meter captures is protected by data protection laws. Just like traditional meters, your smart meter records and securely stores the amount of energy you use - it does not store personal information such as your name, address or bank details. Your energy data is sent to us via a wide area network (WAN). This works in the same way your mobile phone sends and receives information, so you don’t have to worry about your personal details being at risk. Ofgem enforces all of the smart meter data rules and regulations, so you know your energy data is in safe hands.

Can smart meters spy on you?


No - smart meters can neither see nor hear you.


Do smart meters cost me money to run?


Yes, roughly £2.50 of your annual energy bill will go towards running your smart meter. This is because smart meters, communications hubs, and In-Home Displays all consume energy. A typical smart metering system (consisting of a meter, a communications hub, and an In-Home Display) consumes 2.6W30 more power than a comparable traditional metering system. The total annual consumption by smart metering assets is approximately 18KWh.


Do smart meters give accurate bills?


They're more accurate than traditional meters as they do not rely on us to remember to submit meter readings. If we forget to submit meter readings, suppliers have to produce estimate bills, this may mean you are paying more or less than the energy you are using.

Do smart meters need WiFi to be installed?


No, you don't need to have broadband or Wi-Fi internet to have a smart meter. They have their own secure wireless network. Your energy data is sent to us via a wide area network (WAN) that works in the same way your mobile phone sends and receives information. Therefore, you do need phone signal to have a smart meter. If your area has poor signal or your meters are below ground with tick walls surrounding it, we may not be able to communicate with the meters and they may need to be left in 'dumb mode'. When in dumb mode, they function as a traditional meter and you will have to continue submitting your meter readings manually.

Will I still need to submit meter readings?


No. Smart meters send us your meter readings automatically. You can choose how frequently this is - half hourly, daily or monthly. On average, this will save you XXX hours a year.

I live in a rented property, can I get a smart meter?


If you're renting, paying your energy bills and they're addressed to you (not your landlord), you’re entitled to ask your energy supplier for a smart meter. Although you don't have to ask for permission from your landlord, Ofgem recommends that you do in case there are rules in your tenancy agreement about how energy is supplied to the property.

Do I have to pay for the smart meter or the installation?


No. We provide the smart meter, installation, In-Home Display and engineer safety checks free of charge!

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Published on 1st May 2024 by:

image of Charlotte Waterman

Charlotte Waterman

Product and Marketing Executive

Hey I'm Constantine, welcome to Octopus Energy!