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Many homeowners aren’t aware that they are free to switch energy suppliers even if they have a smart meter with their current supplier. So, if you’re considering switching suppliers and have reservations about whether your smart meter will hinder your plans, not to worry, this guide will provide you with all the information and guidance you need. Below we highlight the best course of action and also advise you on how to get the most out of your smart meter.

How Do Smart Meters Work?

Smart meters are intelligent and innovative devices that work by detailing your energy usage in real-time and in pounds and pence – helping you identify exactly how energy is being used in your home. As a result of this, you’ll be able to identify where energy is being wasted and make changes to improve efficiency and lower your utility bills.

Unlike standard meters, smart meters take automatic meter readings and send them directly to your supplier, so you don’t have to worry about manually sending them yourself. This feature helps to make your bills more accurate and provides you with peace of mind in knowing that you aren’t being overcharged for your home energy.

How Do Smart Meters Work With Different Suppliers?

Two main types of smart meters that have been installed in the UK: SMETS1 (first generation) and SMETS2 (second generation). If your new supplier uses the same type of smart meter as your old provider, the meter should work just fine after the switch.

However, many homeowners and tenants have been left with a ‘dumb’ smart meter and have encountered issues with the accompanying in-home display after switching suppliers. This issue takes away the device’s ability to send automatic meter readings, so you end up having to send them yourself as you would with a traditional meter. This problem mainly occurs with first-generation smart meters as not all of them have been connected to the central wireless network. This network enables companies to receive data from all smart meters and if there is no connection, different companies are unable to read each other’s smart meters.

You should ask your new supplier about the smart meters they use and how compatible their technologies are with other meters before you go through with your switch.

What Should I Consider Before Switching Energy?

We have created a checklist for you to go over before switching energy suppliers. This should help to prevent you from being left with a ‘dumb’ smart meter.

  • Find out what type of smart meter you currently have.
  • Do you have a SMETS1 smart meter? If yes, ask your new energy supplier if their technology is compatible.
  • If you have a SMETS2 smart meter, your new supplier should be able to get your readings. But it’s always good to double-check.
  • Bear in mind that you’ll have to leave your smart meter and in-home display behind if you move home in the future.
  • If you’ve recently moved into a home that already has a smart meter but no in-home display, enquire with your new energy supplier about getting a new one.
  • If you have a traditional meter installed, consider upgrading to a smart meter to get a better understanding of your home energy usage.

How do I ensure that my smart meter stays ‘smart’?

The best way to ensure that your smart meter stays smart after you switch suppliers is to make sure that your new energy provider uses the same type of smart meter as your old one. This way, you’ll be able to continue using your existing equipment and benefit from the same features.

Suppliers such as British Gas, Shell Energy(First Utility), Ovo Energy and Utilita have been known to accommodate smart meters from other energy providers.

If you have a smart meter and you’re considering switching suppliers, our experts here at Love Energy Savings can make the process as seamless and stress-free as possible. We’ll provide you with a range of energy tariff options from different suppliers to help you make the best choice for your home and needs. Try our free comparison tool today to get started.