I have been asked to submit a meter read by 8pm tomorrow as I have just switched to Pure Planet, however I have a Smart Meter, can they not just access my meter remotely to read it? I can’t read it as the meter is too high and the numbers are not visable!
Best answer by Gwyndy
however I have a Smart Meter, can they not just access my meter remotely to read it?
Welcome to the Pure Planet Community
The answers to your query is ‘it depends’ and there’s a very long explanation of how it depends contained in this, (the first in a series of 1, so far) of Gwyndy’s rough guides:
‘How to identify your Smart Meter, and will it work when you change energy provider?’
There are currently, 4 (that I’m aware of thanks to being a customer here) types of ‘Smart Meter,’ however, you are normally only able to identify by name/model number/ visual clues, whether a meter is Smart Metering Equipment Technical Specifications 1 (SMETS1) or Smart Metering Equipment Technical Specifications 2 (SMETS2).
How to find out which specification your Smart Meter is?
The easiest ways to tell the difference between SMETS1 and SMETS2 are:
Was it installed before 2018 (if so definitely SMETS1) - after 2018 could be SMETS1 or SMETS2.
What is the third character of the serial number?
P - SMETS1
Is there a small white box next to the meter (called the ‘Comms Unit’) if so SMETS 1?
Is there an Arqiva/Telefonica/Toshiba/WNC branded device with two to five LED lights on top of your electricity meter. If you can see one, then you have a SMETS2 meter!
So, now having identified your meter, there’s the ‘good’ news, the ‘not so good’ news, and the ‘oh dear, that’s torn it’ news.
The ‘Good’ News:
If you’ve discovered you have a SMETS2 meter - that should begin transferring data to Pure Planet automatically once the Data Communications Company (DCC) has configured things at the back end. Even then Pure Planet may request readings for the first few months, just in case there are any issues.
The ‘Not so good’ news:
If you’ve discovered you don’t have a SMETS2 meter, things get a little awkward, as there are several possibilities, they are, in order of least to most awkward:
SMETS1 meters post ‘over the air upgrade’ - these should transfer data to Pure Planet automatically once the Data Communications Company (DCC) has configured things at the back end. Even then Pure Planet may request readings for the first few months, just in case there are any issues.
SMETS1 meters pre ‘over the air upgrade’ - these will not transfer data to Pure Planet until it’s had the over the air upgrade. Therefore you will have to supply manual meter readings via the app/website - when, and how often you do this depends how accurate you want your statements to be. The nearer to the statement date you supply readings, the less Pure Planet has to estimate.
These are the current start date estimates for the SMETS1 meter upgrade work, as advised by the Data Communications Company (DCC):
If your Smart Meter is made by:
- Itron and Aclara - these models have begun being connected to the SMETS2 network. A limited number of Elster Honeywell models are being included in this first phase, too
- Secure - these models have begun being connected to the SMETS2 network from September 2020
- Elster - these models have begun being connected to the SMETS2 network
- EDMI and L&G (Landis+Gyr) - due to start in December 2019, delayed until December 2020
The reason for the upgrades is that SMETS1 meters worked on a ‘mobile network’ which only sent data to the original supplying energy provider, not to the Data Communications Company, thus the data was not shared with anyone else.
The ‘Oh dear, that’s torn it’ news:
The ‘not really SMETS1’ meters - supplied by British Gas(?) which cannot be upgraded - I’ve seen this mentioned, but so far, no-one here has stated any manufacturer/model name.
Whichever specification your meter meets, once you changed from the installing supplier, you will have lost some functionality - I presume that you get everything back if you ever return to the installing supplier, the information’s, at best, ‘vague’ regarding what happens with the data feeds after switching once, let alone switching back again.
So far as I’m aware the only difference between SMETS1 before and after the ‘over the air upgrade’ is what information the meter/In Home Display receives (and I believe that differs by meter/installer).
I hope this provides the answers to your queries.