Living Smarter

Our team are helping residents in Wellingborough and the East Northamptonshire area to get a better understanding of the role of Smart Meters in our homes – how they can help us save energy and stay warm for less money this winter.

Look out for our team at an event near you, they can help with your energy issues – from answering concerns about smart meters to help lower your bills.

5 Smart Meter Myths

  1. You can’t switch supplier. 2nd generation meters will allow uninterrupted switching between suppliers. 
  2. Smart meters can spy on you. Smart meters can’t spy; they can only measure energy use and share the readings with your supplier. 
  3. Renters can’t get a smart meter. If you pay the bills and the meter belongs to your supplier, then you have the right to request a smart meter.  
  4. Not all homes can have smart meters. Almost all homes can currently have smart meters and as connectivity improves and as the smart meter rollout continues everyone should be able to have one installed by 2020. 
  5. Smart meters are dangerous. The government watchdog on public health says that smart meters do not pose a risk to health in installation or infrequent radio wave bursts; they emit a lower EMF reading than your mobile phone or microwave.

Big 6 FAQ’s

What is a smart meter?

Smart meters are the new generation of gas and electricity meters to replace traditional meters, including prepay key meters and Economy 7 and 10 Meters. They send automatic meter readings directly and securely to your energy supplier, resulting accurate bills, an end to estimates and manual meter readings

How can I get a smart meter?

Your energy supplier will contact you between now and 2020 to arrange your installation. There is no extra cost for a smart meter or for the in-home display.

What if I have a prepay or Economy 7 meter?

Smart meters will make prepay as easy as pay-as-you-go on your mobile. If you choose smart prepay, you should be able to see your credit, top up online, app, telephone or via text, top up in person at a local shop, outlet and pay the same rates as everyone else. Suppliers will be able to support Economy 7 and 10 second generation smart meters. These specialised meters are being developed and will be available shortly.

What is the in-home display and what does it do?

It is a handheld digital device that sits in your home. This may be called lots of things – like an IHD or smart meter display. It takes information from your smart meter and shows you in near real time how much energy you’re using in pounds and pence.

Are Smart Meters safe?

The smart meter system is very secure and smart meters are not dangerous. Public Health England sees no risk or dangers to health from smart meters. Your smart meter has information about how much gas and electricity you’ve used, but doesn’t store other personal information that could identify you, such as your name, address or bank account so it is secure.

How do I prepare for installation?

Your energy supplier will contact you and arrange a time and date that suits you and tell you what to expect, how long it will take and if there’s anything special you need to do. You will need to be at home to let the installer in, make sure the installer can get to your current meter and be prepared to have your electricity supply for up to half an hour and the visit to take around 2 hours.

5 Benefits of Smart Meters

  1. See what you are spending. Start to see your energy differently. It will help you to monitor what you are using – and wasting – in near real time. 
  2. Good energy habits. You can set energy saving goals and budgets and see what you’re using in pounds and pence. 
  3. No more manual readings. Manual readings will become a thing of the past as smart meters are self-reading.
  4. Works with a pre-payment meter. You can simply top up on your app, online or with your In Home Display when you’re nearly out of credit. There’s also an emergency credit button you can press if you need a bit of extra time to top up.
  5. Building a Smart energy Britain. Helping to create a smart grid, conserving energy, making use more efficient and collectively saving energy.

Smart Energy GB ( is the national campaign for the smart meter rollout. It’s independent of government, not an energy supplier and it doesn’t fit smart meters. It’s role is to make sure people understand smart meters and how to use them to get their gas and electricity under control.

Content for this page is supplied by and with the permission of our partners, Centre for Sustainable Energy. Similar content and more can be found at