Switching to us with a smart meter

Key things to know about switching to us with a smart meter

Changes to functionality

If you've got a smart meter and you switch to us, it may lose some smart functionality. Your meter may revert to working more like a traditional meter – which means that you'll have to send us meter readings and your In-Home Display (IHD) might not work.

You’ll know whether we support your meter by checking if it's manufactured by Secure and shows the Secure logo as shown below. If you have a Secure meter, then we can support it as a Smart meter.

Secure smart meter logo

Pay as you go (PAYG)

If you have a smart pay as you go meter, you may lose your usual top-up functionality and we may need to switch you to one of our credit tariffs, at which point you can then set up a Direct Debit or choose to pay on receipt of your bill.

Day and night rate tariffs (Economy 7)

If you have an economy 7 meter, you may see a change to your off-peak hours. If we support your smart meter, your reduced rate hours will be based on your specific region. There's more information on reduced rate hours by region in the table below.

Off-peak hours by region for Economy 7 customers

Region (and first 2 digits of your Supply number) Off-peak hours
Eastern England (10)
London – business customers only (12)
North Eastern England (15)
South Western England (22)
Midnight to 7:00am
East Midlands (11)
London – domestic customers only (12)
Merseyside & Northern Wales (13)
West Midlands (14)
North Western England (16)
Southern England (20)
South Eastern England (19)
Southern Wales (21)
Yorkshire (23)
Northern Scotland (17)
12:30am to 7:30am
Southern Scotland (18) 11:00pm to 7:30am

Meter types we can’t yet support in smart mode

There are some meter types we can’t yet operate as smart meters, below. We expect this to change as the smart meter industry evolves.

  • 3-phase meters which are used in some commercial properties and larger flats
  • Dynamically tele-switching meters (DTS) – these are normally in place if you have electric storage heaters, when your home is heated by electricity and you get cheaper energy at different times of day
  • Related meters, or MPANs where you have two meters that work inter-dependently. This set-up occurs when the property has (or had) separate heating and power/lighting circuits from the meter

Smart meter readings

If you join us with a smart meter, you'll still need to provide an initial meter reading. After this, we'll collect daily readings. The only time we'd need you to provide us with subsequent meter readings would be in exceptional circumstances – for example, if a technical issue means we're unable to speak to your meter remotely.

We collect meter readings daily by default but if for any reason you'd prefer them to be taken monthly, you can email and tell us at: smartmeters@bristol-energy.co.uk. This applies to domestic and business customers.

Business customer smart meters

If you're a micro or small business customer you may have an Automatic Meter Reader (AMR) smart meter which can also send regular meter readings to your energy supplier remotely. If you have an AMR meter and receive estimated bills please get in touch with our business team business@bristol-energy.co.uk who will investigate for you.

Business price display

Please be aware business prices displayed on smart meters and In-Home Displays are exclusive of VAT and Climate Change Levy. These will be applied to your monthly bill at the correct rate.

Still have questions? Here are some FAQs.


How do I read a smart meter?

If you've got a smart meter showing the secure logo, you can check both your gas and electricity meter readings by pressing the digit 9.

If you've got an Economy 7 meter (day and night rate tariff), you can press digit 6 and this will show your day, night and total readings.

To find your electricity usage, look for an IMPORT number followed by 'KWH'. If you have solar panels, an EXPORT number followed by ‘KWH’ will give you export your reading for your FiT provider.

Are smart meters bad for your health?

The short answer is no. Public Health England, the agency which protects and promotes the nation’s health, says it sees no health risk from smart meters.

Smart meter radio waves are produced at a much lower level than items we use every single day – like microwaves and mobile phones. In fact, they're typically 1 million times less than allowable safe levels.

How secure are smart meters?

The smart meter system has been designed with security at its heart. The meters are covered by strict UK and EU product safety laws – these laws mean all meters are built to the same high-quality safety and security standards, regardless of your energy supplier.

Plus, new guidelines have been created specifically for smart meters which provide even more protection for your data than the Data Protection Act.

How soon will energy suppliers be able to communicate with all smart meters?

The timetable isn't in our hands but the energy industry expects this to be around mid 2019.

The government has appointed a company – the Data and Communications Company (DCC) – to create a new national infrastructure that will allow communication between all energy companies and smart meters. Once this infrastructure is up and running you can be assured your smart meter won't lose its smart functionality after switching energy supplier.

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