What is a smart meter?

1. What's a smart meter?

2. What are the benefits of a smart meter?

3. How do smart meters and the smart energy display work?

4. Useful links

What’s a smart meter?

smart meter on a wall

A smart meter is a gas or electricity meter that’s a lot like your current meter. The difference is that it sends us your meter readings electronically.

The Government wants to have a smart meter installed in every home and business by 2020.

It’s free to have a smart meter installed by us and it means:

  • You won't have to tell us your meter reading, or have someone come into your house to take one
  • You'll get accurate bills, not estimated ones
  • Linked with a smart energy display, you'll be able see how much it costs to use energy.

What can smart meters actually do?

Smart meters send an electronic meter reading to us once a month, so we can get a proper picture of how much energy you’re using. They do this using GPRS technology, just like mobile phones.  

When a smart meter links up wirelessly with our energy monitor, called a smart energy display, you’ll also get a much better picture of your energy use.

Together they’re pretty clever. They can help you to see when lots of appliances around the house are using energy at the same time – and how much this costs you.

That means you can keep track of your spending.

So where did the idea for smart meters come from?

Our energy network in the UK is quite old. It’s designed for a time when energy needs were simple.

These days people use more energy, have loads of gadgets around the house, and even generate their own electricity though things like solar panels.

The Government not only wants us to become more energy efficient, but also wants to get our energy system, homes and businesses prepared for the future.

We’ve already begun installing smart meters for our customers, who are now seeing the benefits. In fact, we’re working hard to get smart meters for all of our customers – so they can use and pay less for their energy.  

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What are the benefits of a smart meter?


Smart meters save you time

Your meter readings will be sent to us electronically, meaning there’s nothing for you to do when we need a reading.

You won’t have to shine a torch in a dark cupboard each month to find your meter. Or you won’t have to let a stranger in to come and read your meter.

We’ll just send a technician around every couple of years so we can make sure your meter’s working properly.

Smart meters give more control over the way you use your energy

designer lightbulbBy using smart meters and our smart energy display, you can track your energy in pounds and pence, kilowatt hours, or even see your carbon emissions.

You can find out what happens to your energy use when you start cooking the Sunday roast, or play the latest console game on a big plasma screen.

Whether you want to cook a meal in one pot instead of have a few hobs running on the cooker, or turn off your TV if it’s on standby – all of that is really up to you.

Once you can see how you’re using energy, you can then start to budget.

Do smart meters help reduce energy bills?

Smart meters don’t directly reduce your bill. But they can give you lots of information – shown on your smart energy display – to help you reduce your costs.

You can set daily budgets – in pounds and pence – so you know how much you’re spending and when you’ve reached your daily limits.  And from the coloured lights on the display, you can find out when your house is starting to use a lot of energy, so you can switch a few things off to save money.

Smart meters with E.ON - Smart Pay As You Go

A lot of energy companies are joining the smart meter revolution and we’ve got hundreds of technicians ready to install them across the UK over the next year.

But with E.ON we’ll be able to offer you a whole new way of paying for your energy. It’s called Smart Pay As You Go. It gives you more control over the way you use and pay for your energy.

You’ll be able to:

  • Top up your meter anywhere – on our smartphone app, online or over the phone
  • Set alerts and track your balance online or on your app – that means no more bill surprises
  • Choose from our range of tariffs, and still take advantage of savings and discounts.

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smart energy display on kitchen worktopHow do smart meters and the smart energy display work?

When you get a smart meter with E.ON, you’ll also get a smart energy display. The smart energy display is an energy monitor that works with a smart meter. It communicates with your smart meter to show you how you use energy.

You’ll need to plug it in, so it needs to be placed near a socket. The display also needs to be close enough to your smart meter so it can get information. Like a mobile phone, the display has bars so you can check if you’ve got a good signal between devices.

At the touch of a button you can see how much you’ve used over different days or weeks. You can even set your own budgets, so the display will let you know if you go over your limit. Take a look at our online guide to see just how much you can do with the smart energy display.

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Useful links

If you’d like to find out even more about smart meters, take a look at these external sites.

The Government’s smart meter guide

Energy UK data guide for smart meters

Smart Energy GB

Smart Meter Installation Code of Practice

Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC)

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