If you’re looking for information about smart meters with Pure Planet, we’ve got you covered.
This is the place to start for anything about first-generation smart meters (SMETS1), second-generation smart meters (SMETS2), how to get a smart meter, how to cancel an appointment, and how to troubleshoot your In-Home Display (IHD).
This community guide is designed to help you get smart meter information quickly. It was suggested by Members after we spotted a lot of similar posts asking the same questions. So we hope this is useful!
This guide covers pretty much all the basics and has links to further info including our smart meter community FAQs.
What is a smart meter?
Smart meters and In Home Displays - what’s the difference?
Smart meters are the same as traditional gas and electricity meters in that they measure your energy usage. What's different is that smart meters take automatic readings and send them to energy suppliers, so you don't have to.
Your readings are sent via wireless networks, a bit like mobile phones, to Pure Planet. You do not need wifi to have smart meters at home.
Electricity smart meters are connected to the mains and monitor energy use in real time. Gas smart meters track usage every half hour
The In-Home Display, known as IHDs, is the small, black screen which sits somewhere in your home and shows you your energy usage.
When getting a smart meter from Pure Planet you’ll get an IHD called the Geo Trio II model. We’re also piloting ways for Members to get smart meter usage data in their app.
How do smart meters help us save energy?
Smart meters are helping to modernise the national energy network. Having a clear picture of how much energy homes are using, at what times, means the grid can more accurately manage energy generation and distribution. And that helps combat climate change. It stops wasted generation, reducing yours and the grid’s overall carbon footprint.
What else can a smart meter do?
Having a smart meter means you don’t have to manually send smart meter readings. Right now we take smart readings once a month, but like other suppliers will be aiming to take them more frequently soon.
In the future as homes become more equipped with renewable technology which can ‘talk’ to smart meters, you’ll also be able to monitor real time energy generation and consumption. For example, how much electricity has been generated by rooftop solar panels, and how much has been used to charge up your electric vehicle.
How do smart meters communicate with Pure Planet?
Every electricity smart meter comes with a ‘communications hub’. Sometimes this is a separate unit sitting on top of the smart meter, sometimes it’s built in, depending on which model you have.
The comms hub is connected to the smart meter network, which is managed by a Government-appointed body called the Data Communications Company (DCC) and operated by Telefonica (in the South of the UK) or Arqiva (in the North of the UK).
The comms hub also ‘talks’ to your IHD and, if you’ve got one, your gas smart meter.
Smart meter readings are sent to Pure Planet via the DCC network.
Does everyone have to have smart meters?
No! If you don’t want a smart meter, you don’t have to have one.
But, under Ofgem rules no energy supplier is allowed to remove a smart meter for an analogue one.
And if your meter is faulty and needs replacing, you’ll get a smart meter.
Different generations of smart meters - what’s a SMETS1 and what’s a SMETS2?
Across the UK there are two types of smart meters being used, first and second generation, known also as SMETS1 and SMETS2. SMETS stands for ‘Smart Metering Equipment Technical Specification’.
How do I know if my meter is SMETS1 or SMETS2?
One quick and easy indicator of whether your meter is first-generation (SMETS1) or second-generation (SMEST2) is to simply check whether your meter has the letters ‘GUID’ printed on it.
If it does, that’ll mean it’s a SMETS2 meter.
If you join Pure Planet and you have a SMETS1 meter it may become ‘dumb’ for a short period, and stop sending automatic readings. You’ll need to take meter readings from the smart meter (not the IHD). You may need to ‘wake up’ your smart meter first - this guide has some info on how to do that.
We won’t replace your SMETS1 meter with a SMETS2 because your meter will be upgraded to the second generation network. It will have exactly the same functionality as SMETS2.
The SMETS1 upgrade programme is controlled by the Data Communications Company, the Government-appointed body which oversees the smart rollout. Check out this guide for the DCC’s estimates for when your meter model will be ‘adopted’.
SMETS2 meters, which is the kind that Pure Planet installs, are supplier ‘agnostic’, meaning they’re designed to work with all energy suppliers.
If you switch to Pure Planet with a SMETS2 smart meter we’ll ask you to send us opening meter readings, and your smart meter readings will start being sent automatically about one month after your switch date.
So, you want to get a smart meter?
Pure Planet has partnered with smart meter installers Magnum Utilities.
We’re rolling these out gradually, and of course the pace of installs continues to be affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. We’re updating Members on Covid-19 precautions here.
If you’ve not been offered a smart meter yet, bear with us! As soon as we’re in your region, we’ll be in touch.
Your smart meter’s just been installed by us?
If you’ve just had a smart meter installed by us, you’ll see closing readings in your Pure Planet account (for the old meter) and opening readings (for the new).
Sometimes it can take up to 24 hours for IHDs to show energy usage, and remember also that gas smart meters monitor usage every 30 minutes.
IHD not showing usage or not connecting?
If your SMETS2 meters were installed by Pure Planet, your in-home display (IHD) will be a Geo Trio II model. It shows you live and historical consumption data from your Smart meter(s).
If your IHD isn’t showing data, check out this troubleshooting guide. It’s got some really useful info on steps to take.
A shout out to Pure Planet Community Members
We will of course keep updating it as we go, too.