28th August 2020

Everything you need to know about your new smart meter

Joe Grainger, Smart Meter Operations Manager


You've gone smart with Octopus Energy. Nice one! Here’s everything you need to know about life with a smart meter, from the benefits you’ve unlocked, to handy energy-saving tips, a guide for reading your meter’s in-home display screen and more.

Smart meter post-installation timeline

First things first - once you’ve had your meters installed, it can take up to two weeks for them to connect to our systems.

A calendar displaying an example smart meter timescale. We will have your meter details and should be able to communicate with your meter after two weeks. Several days after that, you will be able to switch to one of our smart tariffs if you do so wish.

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 on 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.

Your new meter is a stepping stone to a smarter, greener future!

Our smart tariffs are unlike anything else out there. With pricing that varies throughout the day based on the current wholesale market price of energy (made possible by your shiny new smart meter), they reward you with super cheap rates for shifting your energy usage towards times when the grid is greenest.

But they’re much more than cheap tariffs - they are also a key part of our mission to drive the transition to a 100% renewable energy system. They help reduce strain on the electricity grid during ‘peak’ times (between 4-7pm, when dirty fossil fuel generators are turned on to meet consumer demand).

To truly unlock their potential, you can also combine these tariffs with gadgets like intelligent home batteries (to store cheap, green energy for use later on), and automated smart appliances - so you can step back and let your home run when it’s cheapest to do so. (Find out more about how to hack your home for the smartest, greenest energy!)

So without further ado, here are our revolutionary smart tariffs:

  • AgileOctopus has half-hourly energy prices, giving customers super-cheap power when there's lots of renewable electricity available to use up, and no one around to use it. Sometimes, customers even get paid to use energy. Seriously.
  • octopusGO is a tariff for electric vehicle owners, offering a super-cheap rate for four hours each night, so drivers can charge up for next to nothing during off-peak times.
  • OutgoingOctopus is the UK's first ever smart 'export' tariff for customers who generate energy at home. If you have solar panels, we’ll pay you for the green energy you pump back into the grid.

What else makes smart meters so useful?

Cheaper and Greener

An image of a smart meter in home display

Thanks to your smart meter, it’s much easier to stay on top of your energy usage - which will help cut both your bills, and your carbon footprint. Your smart meter has a simple display screen which will show you how much energy you’re using and what it costs. You can also monitor your energy consumption through your online account.


Fair and accurate

A little graphic of a paper plane flying through the air

No more giving meter readings manually. You might have heard whispers about how much more convenient smart meters are - you’ll no longer need to remember to take a monthly reading, or battle territorial spiders under the stairs. From now on, your smart meters will send meter readings to us automatically.

(Don’t worry, we'll still send you bills, and you can still spin our meter reading wheel of fortune once per month, per fuel.)

A graphic of a bill and an envelope

No more estimated bills. Your smart meters means we don't have to estimate how much energy you’ve used any more, because we can take real meter readings automatically. You’ll always be charged for exactly how much energy you’ve really used.

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

Your in-home display 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 and saving money. We're installing two different kinds of In-Home Display at the moment: IHD 3 and IHD 6.

Get to know your IHD 3

If you've got an IHD 3 it will 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.

QuickCheck - Over time, your meter will get a good idea of how much energy you typically use. It lets you see how you’re going compared to your personal average. Green is less, orange around the same, and red is more.

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 and 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 - touch this icon 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 - touch this icon to switch between your daily, weekly or monthly usage.

Get to know your IHD 6

If you've got an IHD 6, it will 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 indicates your personally set budget.

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

Home Button -you can use this icon 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 - here, you can 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 - you can use this icon 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 - this icon will take you to your IHD 6's menu.

Your IHD 6 has a built-in rechargeable battery and connects wirelessly to your smart meter. This means you can walk around your house and investigate how much appliances cost to run and where you can make savings.

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. Why not turn each appliance on and to see how much kWh electricity or gas each of your appliances uses. Click here to learn more about how the IHD 6 works. You can download these IHD guides and some other smart meter info here.

Quick and easy energy saving advice

Your smart meter will allow you to keep a close eye on the energy you use, and thanks to your In-Home Display, you’ll begin to see that a couple of energy saving tips can make a whole world of difference. For example:

  • Why not try swapping your old bulbs for LEDs whenever one burns out – if the light is on for 2 hours a day, you’ll see that you can save about £10 a year for each bulb replaced. And of course, switching off lights when they’re not needed is always a good idea!
  • Lowering your thermostat by just 1°c can also make a real difference. You’ll barely notice the temperature change, but thanks to your smart meter, you might notice that your bills are a bit lighter – typically to the tune of £75 a year. Swapping your thermostat for a smart model can make the savings even bigger.

Visit our blog for more easy energy saving tips, or check out this quick video!

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

image of Joe Grainger

Joe Grainger

Smart Meter Operations Manager

Hey I'm Constantine, welcome to Octopus Energy!