Getting a smart meter installed: what to know before, during and after

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Step 1: Book your appointment

Register your interest here and we’ll email you as soon as there are slots available. Or you’ll be able to book an appointment in your online account if there’re appointments available in your area (top tip: we usually release new slots every Monday).

And that's it - we'll take care of the rest!

Good to know:

  • We’ll need someone over the age of 18 in the house for the entire appointment, even if your meter is outside. This is so our contractor can conduct safety checks inside your home before and after the work is completed.
  • Our contractor will need clear access to your meter. If it’s located in a locked cupboard or storage area, please make sure you can get access before the installation date.
  • We’ll send you a text or email to remind you of your appointment nearer the time, and we’ll call or text on the day to let you know we’re on our way.
  • Please get in touch via to let us know if anybody in the household is vulnerable or has any disabilities so our engineers can plan extra support as required.
  • Given the outbreak of the COVID-19, we’re taking preventative actions to keep you and our engineers safe while we install your meter - if you have any concerns you may have the virus, please email as soon as possible so that we can rearrange your appointment.

If you’ve already ticked step one off your list, congratulations! You’re one step closer to a whole new world of smarter energy where you can get paid to use energy, more convenient metering, and you’ll soon have access to our revolutionary smart tariffs too.

Constantine in a toolbelt

Step 2: The install

First thing's first, the engineer will let you know when they're on their way, park up and get straight to work

Secondly, they'll take a note of the readings from your existing meters and add them to our system

They'll then crack on with exchanging your meters, it'll take about an hour per fuel - your power will be interrupted for about 20 mins during the install

Your new smart meters will be installed in the same place as your old ones (and don't worry, the engineer will take your old meters away with them)

Once your new meters have been installed, the engineer will go through how you can make the most of your new In-Home Display and will offer up some energy efficiency advice

Psst, we’ve made smart meter installs something to look forward to...

Check out our quick and easy smart meter install vid:

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Step 3: We’ll get connected

Once you’ve had your meters installed, it can take up to 14 days for us to connect to your meter and in-home display (it’s usually much sooner but we’re reliant on industry processes, and these can slow things down). You don’t need to get in touch with us about this, we’re already on it. During that time, we won't be able to take automatic readings from your meter, and your In-Home Display won't work.

While we're waiting for your meter to connect, you might receive an email asking for a meter reading. You don't need to do anything if you get this email because your final meter reading from your old meter will have been taken already by our engineer.

Once your meters are fully connected, you’ll see your smart meter data in both your online account under “your meters”, and on your In-Home Display . If they aren’t there yet, it means we’re still busy connecting. If it’s been longer than 14 days, get in touch.

Good to know:

  • While you're waiting for your meter to connect, you might receive an email asking for a meter reading - you don't need to do anything. Our engineer will have taken a final meter reading from your old meter and added it to our system.
  • Once your meters are fully connected, you’ll see your smart meter data in both your online account under “Your meters”, and your in-home display will come alive. If it’s been longer than 14 days and you're not seeing your data, get in touch and we'll help.
  • We collect your smart meter data half hourly but it’s your data and you’re always in control. You can change whether we take your readings half hourly, daily or monthly at any time via your online account.
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Step 4: Let the savings commence!

We’re connected! It’s time to track down those money guzzling devices and make the most of our smart tariffs and trials where you could save some serious dough.

  • See what you're using clearer than ever through your online account and Octopus app. Plus, your In-Home Display screen can give handy info about your energy costs at a glance. Click here to get the most out of your IHD.
  • Your meter sends us readings automatically, so you don’t have to (and now you have a smart meter, you'll get an extra spin on our meter reading wheel of fortune).
  • Say goodbye to estimated bills. With automatic readings, you’ll always be charged for what you’ve really used, and you’re in control of how often your meter sends readings.
  • Unlock smart tariffs, competitions and trials that make the most of the UK’s green energy, helping you to spend less on your bills.

Frequently Asked Questions:

I want to book an appointment but I can’t find a time and date that suits me?


We're installing tens of thousands of smart meters every month but appointments get snapped up pretty quickly. If you want to be notified when new appointments are released, just add your name here and we'll be in touch as soon as there's an engineer available near you.

Will an Octopus engineer install my new smart meter?


Wherever we have coverage an Octopus Energy Services engineer will complete your install. They are usually in a lovely pink Octo-van. However, we also work with a lot of different - trusted - partners: Energise, E.ON, SMS ltd, Providor or QHS.

In other words, don't be surprised if your engineer isn't in an Octopus Energy van! Everything should go smoothly whoever is there to install, but if you need any help just get in touch with the team here.

Can I get a smart meter if I rent my property?


If the energy bill at your property is in your name, you can decide whether to get a smart meter installed, but we recommend letting your landlord know first. Smart Energy GB have provided an email template and a letter template you can use.

If the energy bill is in your landlord's name, it's their decision, but you can still ask.

How long will the install take?


The install will take about an hour per fuel (sometimes longer so best to leave a couple of hours spare).

Are you installing SMETS1 or SMETS2 meters, and what's the difference?


We're installing SMETS2 meters. This is an upgraded version, which all UK suppliers are now installing.

The earlier model, SMETS1, is what the majority of installs were up until March 2019. Suppliers are ramping up SMETS2 installs now because SMETS1 installations after March 15th 2019 don't count towards our smart meter quota (a target set for all suppliers by Ofgem). There’s nothing wrong with SMETS1 meters – they're a great piece of tech.

So what’s the difference?

The key difference between SMETS1 and the newer model, SMETS2, is that SMETS2 have the inbuilt functionality to let you change supplier without losing the meters’ 'smart' ability.

We are expecting SMETS1 meters to be upgraded remotely to the SMETS2 systems (with no engineer visit required) this year, meaning they should soon be smart with your new supplier.

What’s the difference between a smart meter and an In-Home Display?


The smart meter is the unit attached to your wall and will replace your traditional meters. Your smart meter will send us your meter readings so you don't have to.

The in-home display is the little device that tracks your energy use in pounds and pence. It'll look like this:

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Do you install any accessible In-Home Displays?


We now have the Trio In-Home Display - an accessible "talking" IHD for blind and visually impaired customers. This IHD can speak the contents of each screen out to you. It’s been tried, tested and approved by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB). It’s vital that smart energy tech be as inclusive as possible, so nobody gets left behind in the green energy revolution.

How do smart meters communicate?


Smart meters don’t need the internet to communicate. Instead, they work by using two wireless networks: the HAN (home area network) and WAN (wide area network).

Your HAN is a secure network contained within your home that allows digital devices to communicate with each other. This network is used to allow your smart gas and electricity meters to communicate with each other, as well as with your in-home display.

When smart meters need to communicate with an energy provider, they use WAN. This secure network is similar to the one mobile phones use to send and receive data. It’s run by the Data Communications Company and overseen by the energy regulator Ofgem. This means it must comply with strict regulations to ensure smart meter data is kept private and secure.

Published on 12th September 2022 by:

image of Joe Grainger

Joe Grainger

Smart Meter Operations Manager

Hey I'm Constantine, welcome to Octopus Energy!