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Smart meters with Pure Planet - a community guide to getting started


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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.

Smart meters in the home

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. 

SMETS1

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

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.

You may also want to take a look at our guide to Pure Planet smart meters.

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 @woz @G4RHL @Bev @Duppy @Strutt G @Gwyndy @MrSmart @schase who all contributed to this guide with ideas, suggestions, feedback:raised_hands:

We will of course keep updating it as we go, too. 

 


21 replies

Hi we are decorating and thought this was the right time to get a smart meter and get rid of the old large meter on the landing we need advice and cost information if  any 

thank you

Susan Bennett 

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

@Carl1512 

All the information you need is in the post above.

 

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.

Where the installation of the meter was very pain free. The geo hub is a pain. Beeps constantly as losing connection. But very excited that the daily spend is nothing like what I've paid previously with pure. Hopefully this will be reflected in my monthly payments.

 

I received an email today asking for yet another meter reading, I was told the smart meter does that?

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

Where the installation of the meter was very pain free. The geo hub is a pain. Beeps constantly as losing connection. But very excited that the daily spend is nothing like what I've paid previously with pure. Hopefully this will be reflected in my monthly payments.

 

I received an email today asking for yet another meter reading, I was told the smart meter does that?

@Simewich

oh ye of slightly too much faith

I wouldn’t rely on the figures on your IHD to assume your DD will be reduced, also PP’s rates have increased. Your spend decrease is probably due to the warmer weather. If your usage vs your DD was on track before I wouldn’t assume it will change unless we get a very long, longer than usual warm spell.

(and a Barbara Streisand apology for raining on your parade)

The answer to your comment about readings is in the article above, PP will stop asking you once auto readings are established.

Userlevel 1

Mine is a new Smart Meter fitted about a month ago by you.  No gas reading!!  The reason I got it was because I have mobility issues and cannot access my gas meter which is tucked under the stairs.

I need you to get it on line - It worked for about 10 days then turned off.  No problem with the electricity.

Just because the In Home Display doesn’t work doesn’t mean the readings are not sent to Pure Planet. They are separate things.

Keep an eye on your statements @Tidge63 and look out for Smart next to a reading. Even if they show estimate, don’t worry, you can tell PP that you need someone to read your meters. Look for Priority services in the app.

Called “Smart Meters” but the only smart bit is it saves your energy supplier having to read the meter or you doing the same each month. Perhaps “smart” is not quite the right adjective. Normally when advertising comes on the radio my brain switches out so that I have no idea what is being advertised but the other day on came an advertisement  Classic FM mentioning Smart Meters. My brain got into gear. It annoyed me to listen to the implication it would save a person money. It did not of course quite say that but anybody not knowing would think that.

Incidentally, can someone tell me how to read or rather see the Smart Meter? I went to check its reading just to ensure it was in the right range for what appears on the monthly bill, but it is impossible to read the display. I pressed button A but nothing changed. Do I have to go out in the dark to read it?

I note a button B. That reminded me of childhood days when public telephone boxes had buttons A & B. After putting your pennies in when the call was picked up you pressed A and were connected. If it was not picked up you pressed B and got your money back. As kids we would go into the boxes and press B in case somebody had forgotten. We struck lucky reasonably often. Then there was the trick of making long distance calls for the price of a local one!

Now we just lift our wrist and say “Hey Siri, ring Marc at Pure Planet” and bingo - except of course Marc does not have a public number! I did though once say “Hey Siri, ring David” and it connected with him 10,000 miles away in Brisbane. I was outside York Minster at the time and did it for my very young grand daughter, his daughter, who was on a visit with her mum to the UK. I kept the call short!

Hello @Tidge63 

Thanks for posting and welcome to the Community!

@25 quid has given some great advice here - also if you want to get your In-Home-Display working you can contact the team on our app or website via Wattbot, if you go to ‘help’ then ‘ask a question’ and message ‘IHD problem’. 

This may also be useful:

I hope this helps!

Userlevel 1

I asked Wattbott so many questions, making them a simple one line so as not to confuse it, but it still said no answers found, try again.  Even asking to talk to someone using the exact words Pure Plant recommend you say, it still said it didn’t understand.  Absolutely useless!!

My Gas reading came on briefly last night but gone again this morning.

The whole point of ‘Customer Service’ is you provided a service for your customers.  If you cannot contact anyone, there is NO SERVICE.

@Tidge63 It is my electricity reading that always does that, since installation last year. It doesn’t now though, nor can the gas said as I have disconnected the IHD. Worth anything in eBay?!

Userlevel 1

Thanks G4RHL, yes we were told that Smart Meters were the way to go, no more readings and it would help the planet.  All it has done is raise my blood pressure.

I asked Wattbott so many questions, making them a simple one line so as not to confuse it, but it still said no answers found, try again.  Even asking to talk to someone using the exact words Pure Plant recommend you say, it still said it didn’t understand.  Absolutely useless!!

My Gas reading came on briefly last night but gone again this morning.

You didn’t mention what phrase you used with the enigmatic bot. IHD problem is a goodie. Or Message the team can bring you closer to human contact...

Try “IUD problem”

I posted over 2 years ago requesting a smart meter. I live in RH7 - any idea when on earth I might get one? When will you be “in the region”? Is there the possibility it will be another 2 years+ ? This might help inform what I do. I want to show my family what energy we’re wasting when we do certain things.

Thanks

 

Yes, frustrating @Dalaigh.

Whilst not recommending them, there are 3rd party options such as https://www.amazon.co.uk/EMPORIA-ENERGY-Emporia-Electricity-Metering/dp/B07R11H2Q2/ whilst you wait... 

Thanks @25 quid - I’ll consider it but £69 was supposed to be the saving I’d make from energy awareness:joy:

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

I posted over 2 years ago requesting a smart meter. I live in RH7 - any idea when on earth I might get one? When will you be “in the region”? Is there the possibility it will be another 2 years+ ? This might help inform what I do. I want to show my family what energy we’re wasting when we do certain things.

Thanks

 

Although I can't help by telling you when you may expect, an installation, I can tell you from.experience is that unless the family are directly paying for the energy they don't care.

My IHD sits in the kitchen in full view, but that doesn't stop my daughter putting only a few items in the tumble dryer and setting it to the maximum time.

 

Hi Marc,

Very informative.

About 6 months ago I had a phone call asking if I would like a smart meter, but at the time I declined.  However, I am now considering purchasing an electric car, and now think a smart meter would be a good idea.  How can I reapply for one, please?

 

Hi @PaulM8,

Use Wattbot to get in touch and see if PP/Magnum can still come to your area…

In the app tap Help then Ask a Question. Now tell the Wattbot machine your situation. It likely won’t understand, so type Message the team to get the attention of a real human.

They should reply in a few days.

 

Thanks for the advice @25 quid , I’ll give that a try.

Hi everyone, 

Just a little update on a great tip I’ve just heard from our Smart team! 

They’ve been looking into easy ways for Members to tell whether they have a SMETS1 meter, or a SMETS2 meter. 
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. (So, that’s the meter on the wall - not the IHD).

If it does, that’ll mean it’s a SMETS2 meter. 

I’ve added that tip to the post above, and to our Smart FAQs, too. :slight_smile:

 

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