What is changing?

  • From 10 February 2018*, energy suppliers must install smart meters on sites which consume under 732,000kWh of gas, and on sites within meter Profile Class 1-4 for electricity.

  • Many of these sites will already have AMR installed. If this is the case, these sites are exempt and the AMR device will not need to be replaced with a smart meter.

  • If the customer does not already have AMR, DONG Energy will arrange to install an AMR device at the site(s) before 10 February 2018*. 
     
  • If an AMR device needs to be replaced after this date, it will be replaced with a smart meter by the supplier.
  • After this date, smart meters will be installed on an ongoing basis.
* The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has recently announced that this date could change to 12 March 2018.

Considerations

  • The Government's 2020 target is considered challenging and many industry commentators question whether it can be met.
  • Large suppliers** have already installed approximately 3.3 million SMETS1 meters, but it has since been discovered that SMETS1 meters may not be able to retain their 'smart' functionalities if a customer changes supplier.
  • It is also unclear how SMETS1 meters will be fully migrated onto the Data and Communications Company (DCC) and whether they will become 'dumb' meters again when the customer changes supplier.
  • The industry is working towards introducing SMETS2 meters, which will address this issue. However, these are not available yet.


**A large supplier is defined as supplying to more than 250,000 domestic customers.

AMR and smart meters – what's the difference?

  • 'Advanced meters' (often referred to as Advanced Meter Reading, or AMR) create a one-way communication channel between a business and the energy supplier. 
  • The AMR device records and counts the units of energy that run through the meter, and sends this directly to the energy supplier.
  • The data collected is used to more accurately calculate invoices and also means that manual meter readings are no longer required.

With AMR, customers can also view consumption data, so they can more easily monitor opportunities for improved efficiencies.

 

Smart meters

Smart meters encompass all of the benefits of AMR technology, but they also show:

  • How much energy a customer is using in near real-time
  • Energy cost in pounds and pence (or if preferred, kWh or CO2 emissions)

    For smart meters operating in prepay mode, it will also show: 
  • Amount of credit remaining
  • Amount on the emergency credit balance
  • Debt balance, if there is one
  • Visual or audio alert if the credit is getting low

To qualify as a smart meter, the equipment must conform to the detailed requirements laid out in the Government-published Smart Metering Equipment Technical Specifications (SMETS).

Where can I find more information?

You can find more information about smart meters on Government's website.

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