How to use your new smart meter In-Home Display

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Remember: your In-Home Display is not your smart meter, it’s a portable display unit for your smart meter.

You don’t need a smartphone or WiFi to use your IHD - it connects to your smart meter wirelessly through a secure protocol called Zigbee. This is a low power, low frequency radio network similar to Bluetooth.

Instead of being attached to your smart meter, the IHD is a portable touch-screen display you can have somewhere more convenient; as long as it’s not too far away from your smart meter. Too many walls between your IHD and smart meter might mean they can’t connect, so generally it’s best to keep them under a distance of 10 metres.

Because your IHD connects wirelessly to your smart meter, you can walk around your home and investigate exactly how much an appliance costs to run. The battery’s generally last a few hours before needing a recharge, so it’s good to have somewhere more permanent for it to live.

How to read your fancy new In-Home Display (IHD)

Your IHD can tell you everything you need to know about your energy usage. It can also help you understand how, when, and where you could be making more energy-efficient choices to save you money.

IHDs come in different makes and models. We’re talking about two of the most common ones our customers use, the IHD 3, the IHD 6/7, and the Trio Accessible IHD.

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Get to know your IHD 3

IHD 3’s look like this:

An Image of an IHD 3 Display
An Icon of a dial, that is situated in the upper right hand corner of the IHD 3 screen. If you imagine the dial as an incomplete clock face, moving clockwise the dial starts green at 7, and then becomes orange at 11, and finally red at 2.

Quick Check - This lets you see how you’re doing compared to your usual average energy consumption at the time. Green = less, orange = around the same, and red = more.
Note: it can take some time for your IHD to get enough data for this to work accurately, so we usually recommend waiting a few weeks before taking this as an exact indicator.

If you’d like to set an energy budget on your IHD:

  1. Click OK
  2. Press the right arrow once
  3. Press Adjust settings, then OK
  4. Press Set budget, then OK
  5. Press Calendar
  6. Select how long you want the budget to be; daily, weekly, monthly
  7. Use the arrows to increase or decrease your budget
  8. Click OK once you’re happy with the amount

Try to set a realistic weekly or monthly budget to keep an eye on your energy use. Please note, if you go over budget, your supply won’t stop - it’s just a helpful tool to see how your actual usage compares with your ideal usage.

An Icon of a house. It is one of several icons along the bottom of the IHD 3 screen. It is situated on the far left.

Home - tap this icon anytime to return to the home screen (in both Credit or Smart Pay-As-You-Go mode).

An Icon of a lightning bolt with the word 'now' written below. It is situated on the right of the home icon mentioned above.

Now - tap to see how much energy you’re using right now.

Another Icon situated on the bottom of the screen, depicting a lightening bolt and a flame. It is 3rd from the left.

Fuel - tap to switch between your electricity usage, gas usage or both fuels combined.

An icon of a calendar. It is fourth from the left on the bottom of the screen, almost dead in the middle of the row.

Time - tap to switch between your daily, weekly or monthly usage.

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Get to know your IHD 6 and 7

IHD 6 and 7 look like this:

An Image of the IHD 6's screen
A dial takes up the top left hand corner of the display. It has two icons, a lightning bolt and a flame in the centre. Two tracks move around them, the 'gas' track is on the inside and the electricity track is on the outside. The tracks start on the left and them arch up and over the icons in the centre, finishing on the right.

Energy Usage Dial - see your energy usage at a glance - electricity is yellow and gas is blue. The budget line shows your set budget, if you’ve created one.

If you’d like to set an energy budget on your IHD:

  1. Click Menu
  2. Press Budget options
  3. Choose the fuel type
  4. Press Change
  5. Use the arrows to increase or decrease your budget
  6. Press Time period to choose how long you want the budget to last
  7. Click set when you’re happy with your budget

Try to set a realistic weekly or monthly budget to keep an eye on your energy use. Please note, if you go over budget, your supply won’t stop - it’s just a helpful tool to see how your actual usage compares with your ideal usage.

An Icon of a house in the bottom left corner of the display.

Home - tap to return to the home screen.

On the right hand of the screen, there are two icons, a lightening bolt and a flame, next to each icon is the amount you have spent on each fuel respectively over a particular period.

Numeric Display - tap to see your energy usage and cost in numbers.

An icon that says 'so far today' in the middle centre of the display, just below the Numeric Display,

Energy Usage Time Period - tap to choose which period is shown on the numeric display. Scroll between right now, today, this week or this month.

A menu icon, showing 6 white bars. It is in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.

Menu Button - tap to go to your IHDs menu.

Pressing the ‘So far today’ button until you get to the ‘Now’ option will allow you to see your current electricity and/or gas usage. If you turn on an appliance, for example your kettle, you can see how much kWh of electricity it uses to boil.


Download our IHD guide below

Download
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Get to know your Trio Accessible IHD

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.

The Trio can show energy use for electricity and gas smart meters and can be configured to work with whichever smart meters you have installed. For those who have got the Trio already, or are thinking about getting one, here's how they work:

Speech settings:

Speech can be turned on and off by long pressing the button on the top. Even if speech is turned off, pressing this button will cause your Trio to speak the current state of the speech setting.

You can interrupt the speech at any time by pressing the top button (the middle LED above the centre of the screen). This button also functions as a repeat button if you would like to hear something again.

Button layout:

The Trio has a screen in the middle. You can navigate with three buttons to the left of the screen, three buttons to the right of the screen, and one on the top.

The buttons on the left of the screen, from top to bottom, are laid out as follows:

(1) Home button: Press to return to the Home screen.

(2) Back button: Press to return to the previous screen.

(3) Left arrow button: Press to navigate to the previous item on the screen (e.g. in a menu or where there are several tabs, e.g. on the home screen)

The buttons on the right of the screen, from top to bottom, are laid out as follows:

(4) Menu button: Press to go to the menu.

(5) OK button: Press to select an item (e.g. in the menu) or to change a selected item (e.g. change between cost or energy consumption)

(6) Right arrow button: Press to navigate to next item on the screen.

There are three LEDs on top of the screen, the middle one is also a button.

(7) The middle LED button interrupts or repeats speech. A long press will turn the speech on or off. The three LEDs show your electricity usage (green/left for low, amber/middle for medium or red/right for high), if your Trio only shows your gas meter these LEDs will not be on.

Home Screen Layout:

The Home screen is broken down into two tabs - from left to right - "Now", and "Today". Press the arrow buttons (bottom left and bottom right) to navigate between them.

At any time, press the home button (top left) to return to the Home screen. The Now tab on your Home screen is shown by default.

All information on the screen will be spoken when selected.

Here’s how to use the different icons:

“Now” :

(1) Along the top of the screen, the banner bar allows you to check the smart meter(s) signal strength. If there is an issue, you will hear a spoken alert (if speech is on).

(2) Taking up a large portion of the left hand side of the screen, is a dial that reveals the current rate of electricity consumption. As appliances and lights are switched on and off, the dial needle will move and the change will also be spoken. The dial is divided into three segments - Low (green), Medium (amber) and High (red). As your usage changes the Display will speak to indicate Low, Medium or High electricity usage, and also speak the cost per hour or consumption now in watts or kilowatts for both electricity and gas.

(3) Below the dial, the rate of consumption is shown in cost per hour or, if kW is selected, the rate of energy currently being used.

(4) Directly underneath the banner that runs along the top of the home screen, but just above the dials, you can see the two tabs: "Now", and "Today". You can use the left and right buttons to move between them.

(5) On the right of the screen, across from the electricity dial, is an icon depicting a flame, indicating the recent rate of gas consumption (typically over the last 30 minutes). As your home uses more or less gas, the flame size will increase from Low to Medium to High. On the "Now" tab, Press the OK button (middle right) to switch between cost per hour (£/hr) and energy usage now in kilowatts (kW). Depending on your smart meter configuration, only the available fuel types will be shown - the gas flame will not be shown if you do not have a gas smart meter, for example.

“Today”:

The "Today" tab follows a similar configuration to the "Now tab", and is split into two parts. The left shows electricity used today, in either cost or kilowatt hours. The right shows gas used today, following the same format. If you have a budget for each fuel type then on the centre left, and centre right of the screen the Display will show the percentage of budget used so far today for each fuel. Below, the daily expenditure for each fuel is described.

Navigating the Menu:

The main menu is available from any screen. To select it, press the menu button (top right). Press the arrow buttons (bottom left and bottom right) to move through the menu items and then press OK (middle right) to access the items on the menu. Press the back button (middle left) to go back. The items on the menu are as follows:

Usage History

Displays electricity and gas consumption over the previous hours, days, weeks or months. The Electricity usage history has four tabs, from left to right - “Hours”, “Days”, “Weeks” and “Months”. Use the left and right arrow keys to move between the tabs. Each of the screens is designed in a similar manner. The left side of the screen shows a bar graph of electricity usage for the period in either kilowatt hours (kWh) or cost (£). For example for the Hours view, the bars represent hours, and for the Days view, the bars represent days. The cost or usage for the highest hourly period is also shown. The right side of screen shows the total cost (£) or total usage (kilowatt hours) for the period, and when showing cost, if a budget has been set then the budget for that period.

System Status

This screen displays the status of the metering network and connection to WiFi and the cloud. There are several connected circular icons, showing meter status (for electricity and gas), signal status (between the display and smart meter(s)), display status, and connection with the cloud. Select an icon to see and hear the status of this part of your smart meter system. Use the arrow buttons to move between different icons, and press OK to select and show more details.

Meter balance

This screen shows and speaks the current balance of energy used for electricity and gas since the last period.

Tariffs

These screens show and speak current and next electricity/gas prices along with any other daily charges that apply.

Meters

Information on your electricity or gas meter and current meter readings.

Support

Contact details for your utility provider(s), (may include a telephone number and email address). This screen is only shown if set by the meter.

Settings

Personalise your Trio within the Settings screen. You can change talking options, repeat settings, manage alerts, toggle speech and more. Use the arrow buttons to change the setting selection and press the OK button to view or change the selected setting.

In-Home Display FAQs:

What does my IHD do?

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Your IHD tells you how much your energy is costing over a period of time.

By having access to your smart meter readings, the IHD is also able to show how your current usage compares to your historic usage; brand new smart meters need a bit of time to build up a picture of your usage to do this.

IHDs help you monitor your energy usage, and can be used to see where you might save on energy by changing how you use energy, or by investing in efficient appliances.

Why won’t my IHD switch on / why is the screen blank?

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To turn on your IHD, use the round on/off button on the back - hold it for several seconds.

If this isn’t working, the battery may need charging: plug in the IHD and try again. If your IHD is charging properly, it’ll show an icon at the top of the screen.

IHD not charging? Try using a different plug socket to check if the socket is the problem. Turn the display off using the on/off button on the back of the device, wait a minute, then turn it back on again.

If the IHD still isn’t switching on it may be faulty, so please get in touch.

Do I have to leave my IHD plugged in?

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No. It has an in-built rechargeable battery that enables you to walk around the house and turn your appliances off and on to see how much energy they use.

IHDs aren’t designed to be unplugged for long periods - most generally have a few hours charge - so remember to plug it in again when you’re done.

How much electricity does an IHD use?

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A tiny amount. Our IHDs use about 4-5kWh of electricity a year. Based on current prices, that’s around £1 per year.

Does my IHD show the prices including VAT?

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Yes. All the prices and unit rates shown on your IHD screen include VAT.

Will I lose all my data if I unplug my IHD?

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No. It’ll automatically refresh your data once it’s plugged back in.

Why does my IHD show I’ve been using energy even though I’ve been away from home?

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Your energy costs include the energy you use and your standing charge. Your standing charge is displayed on your IHD each day whether you are using energy or not. The daily standing charge is added at around midnight each day.

If you’re concerned that your bill is not accurate, please get in touch.

Where should I keep my IHD?

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For the best connection, keep your IHD within around 10 metres of your smart meter. Thick walls can weaken the signal, so keeping it in the same room as your meters is usually best, or at least within the vague line of sight of your smart meter.

I have both gas and electricity, why is the IHD only showing data for gas?

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As long as your lights are on, you’re still being supplied with energy and the meter is recording your usage. If you can’t see the electricity on your IHD, it may mean the meter is not connected to the IHD.

Try moving your IHD closer to your electricity meter, turn the IHD off, wait a minute and turn it on again. If after 48 hours your IHD is still not displaying data for both fuel types, get in touch.

Do I take my IHD if I move home?

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No, as it’s linked to the meters in your property, and you aren’t taking those with you!

Please leave the IHD behind (best to switch it off and leave it somewhere visible). If you do not have an IHD at your new property, please contact your energy supplier.

I’ve changed my tariff, why is my IHD showing the old tariff?

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Your energy supplier needs to send an update to the IHD to get the new tariff showing. We usually do this remotely automatically, and it can take a few days once we have to actually update on your meter.

If your new tariff information still isn’t showing on your IHD after 2 weeks, please get in touch.

If you’ve got any questions about your smart meter, why not check out our smart meter FAQs, or get in touch!

Published on 11th May 2022 by:

image of Joe Grainger

Joe Grainger

Smart Meter Operations Manager

Hey I'm Constantine, welcome to Octopus Energy!

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