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Smart Meter FAQS

Getting a Smart Meter

  1. I want a smart meter installed, how do I get one?
  2. I have an appointment to have a Smart Meter installed and I need to change it.
  3. I’ve been told I can’t get a smart meter at the moment, why is that?

In-Home Display (IHD)

  1. Why does my bill not match my In-Home Display (IHD)?
  2. I have just had my smart meter installed and have not been left with any instructions for my IHD (In...
  3. Where should I keep the in-home display (IHD)?
  4. How long will the charge last on my IHD if I leave it unplugged?
  5. Why is my IHD (In-Home Display) blank or displaying dashes where the data should be?
  6. If my IHD loses charge will my consumption history still have been recorded?
  7. I have a smart meter and I have changed my tariff online but this has not updated on my IHD (In-Home...
  8. My IHD (In-Home Display) is showing that I have used significantly more energy today than on other d...

Health, Security and Cost

  1. How safe is a smart meter?
  2. Is my smart meter data secure?
  3. Will I be charged for a smart meter?
  4. Will I be charged for a smart metering fault resolution?

Customer Service

  1. I have a smart meter but have just received an email to provide meter readings, why is this?
  2. I have a smart meter but a meter reader has come to take reading, why is this?
  3. What do I do if I am moving house after the smart meters are installed?
  4. I have had a SMART meter fitted, why have I received an estimated bill?

General

  1. I already have an energy monitor – is a smart meter the same?
  2. Do I need to have an internet connection for the smart meter to work?
  3. Do I need to have a smart meter?
  4. Will I get new meters for Gas and Electricity?
  5. Where will the new meters be installed?
  6. Can I change energy supplier and still use my smart meter?
  7. What is the Smart Metering Installation Code of Practice (SMICOP)?

Consumption graphs

  1. How are my smart consumption graphs calculated?
  2. Why do some days have no consumption while others have very high consumption?
  3. In the Day View, why does only one day have consumption while the rest have none?

Alt HAN

  1. What is Alt HAN?
  2. Why is Alt HAN required?
  3. What is the Alt HAN Co?
  4. What types of buildings/premises require Alt HAN?
  5. How many buildings/premises require an Alt HAN solution?
  6. How does the technology work?
  7. How will I know if my home or business requires an Alt HAN solution?
  8. When will Alt HAN be available?
  9. What devices will be installed?
  10. Where can I find out additional information about Alt HAN?

 

SMART METER INSTALLATION APPOINTMENTS

I live in Scotland; can I have a smart meter installed?

In keeping with the Scottish Government’s update to COVID-19 restrictions, we can safely resume smart meter installations from 26th April 2021. 

To book a convenient appointment, please click here.

Rest assured, we’ll do our best to work safely during appointments. Discover more here. We’ll also be in touch before the appointment with more information about what to expect on the day.

Please note, we’re monitoring government advice relating to COVID-19 and will inform you if any changes to restrictions will impact your appointment.

I live in England; can I have a smart meter installed? 

In keeping with the Government's "Working safely during COVID-19" guidelines, we can currently safely install smart meters in England.

To book a convenient appointment, please click here.

Rest assured, we’re doing our best to work safely during appointments. Discover more here. We’ll also be in touch before the appointment with more information about what to expect on the day.

Please note, we’re monitoring Government advice relating to COVID-19 and will inform you if any changes to restrictions will impact your appointment.

I live in Wales; can I have a smart meter installed? 

In keeping with the Government's "Working safely during COVID-19" guidelines, we can currently safely install smart meters in Wales.

To book a convenient appointment, please click here.

Rest assured, we’re doing our best to work safely during appointments. Discover more here. We’ll also be in touch before the appointment with more information about what to expect on the day.

Please note, we’re monitoring Government advice relating to COVID-19 and will inform you if any changes to restrictions will impact your appointment.

Test and Trace

At ScottishPower, we fully support the NHS Test and Trace service. It ensures that if you develop symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), you can get tested quickly to find out if you have the virus, helps trace recent contacts of anyone who tests positive and, if necessary, notifies them that they must self-isolate at home to help stop the spread of the virus.

If you have tested positive for coronavirus and believe you have come into contact with a ScottishPower member of staff, please bring this to the attention of Test and Trace when asked.   Test and Trace will then contact ScottishPower if they believe there has been contact with a member of our staff.

Test and Trace may also decide to contact ScottishPower if a member of our staff tests positive, to identify potential customers who may have come into close contact through our work activity. In such circumstances, ScottishPower will rely on the expertise of the Test and Trace process to make any necessary contact with customers who may have been in contact with our staff member.

TEST & TRACE CONTACT NUMBER FOR SCOTTISHPOWER - 0141 614 8980

Please note this is not a ScottishPower customer service line and should only be used for official NHS Test and Trace purposes. 

If you are experiencing symptoms of coronavirus, you can book a test by visiting self-referral.test-for-coronavirus.service.gov.uk/antigen/name.

To help protect others, you can download the official NHS COVID-19 contact tracing app if you live in England or Wales, or the Protect Scotland app if you live in Scotland. Both are available from the App Store or Google Play.

At ScottishPower we’re closely monitoring Government advice relating to COVID-19 and will inform you if any changes to restrictions will impact your appointment.

I have booked a smart meter installation; will my appointment go ahead following the latest COVID-19 restrictions?

At ScottishPower we are closely monitoring Government advice relating to COVID-19 and will inform you if any changes to restrictions will impact your appointment. 

We are currently able to carry out appointments safely in some areas of the UK.  This is provided neither the engineer, nor anyone in the household, is hsowing symtoms or has a confirmed positive test for COVID-19.

Rest assured, we’re doing everything we can to work safely during appointments. Our engineers
must follow COVID-19 secure protocols, which includes maintaining a 2m distance where possible, wearing protective equipment and cleaning their hands and any surfaces they touch.

In everything we do, the health and wellbeing of our customers, employees and the extended community remains our priority.

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I HAVE AN APPOINTMENT TO HAVE A SMART METER INSTALLED AND I NEED TO CHANGE IT.

If you need to change your smart meter install appointment then all you need to do is call the same number you used to book your appointment - this should be at the top of your smart metering letter.

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I’VE BEEN TOLD I CAN’T GET A SMART METER AT THE MOMENT, WHY IS THAT?

With the large task of installing smart meters to all of our customers across the UK, it has been important to create a rollout plan to do this is as efficiently as possible. Therefore there are a number of possible reasons why your installation will be taking place later than others; 

For example our installers may not have reached the area where you live, your meter type may not be supported by a smart meter equivalent yet or your property type may have some physical barriers preventing a smart meter install such as poor signal strength. 

We are however committed to installing a smart meter to every home and small business by 2021. If you haven’t already done so, you can register your interest here and we will be in touch with you when we are able to install a smart meter to your property.

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WHY DOES MY BILL NOT MATCH MY IN-HOME DISPLAY (IHD)?

The IHD calculates your consumption using your current tariff’s unit rate and daily standing charge. It does not take into consideration any VAT, discounts or debt repayments which are included on your bill. If your IHD unit rates do not match what is on your bill then this is normally due to a recent price or product change. Please allow up to 7 days for these changes to be reflected on your IHD.

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I HAVE JUST HAD MY SMART METER INSTALLED AND HAVE NOT BEEN LEFT WITH ANY INSTRUCTIONS FOR MY IHD (IN-HOME DISPLAY)

Our IHD guide and other smart meter literature is available at the bottom of the smart meter section of our website here. We have also prepared a short video that demonstrates the different uses and functions of the IHD, this can be found here.

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WHERE SHOULD I KEEP THE IN-HOME DISPLAY (IHD)?

You should keep the In-Home Display in a place that is convenient for you to see and use it. Many customers keep their IHD in the kitchen but make sure that the IHD maintains a signal with the meter in whichever location you choose. The internal battery allows you to carry the IHD around the house to investigate the effects of turning appliances on and off. This battery will last for approximately 1 hour before it needs to be reconnected to the power source.

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HOW LONG WILL THE CHARGE LAST ON MY IHD IF I LEAVE IT UNPLUGGED?

A fully charged IHD will last approximately 1 hour when left unplugged from the mains supply. The low battery icon flashes when approximately 15 minutes use remains at which point you should recharge the device.

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WHY IS MY IHD (IN-HOME DISPLAY) BLANK OR DISPLAYING DASHES WHERE THE DATA SHOULD BE?

Like all wireless devices the IHD can sometimes experience low signal strength or lose signal completely with your smart meters. The easiest way to correct this is to power the device down (by pressing the on/off button on the back of the unit) for 10 seconds and move the unit closer to where your electricity meter is located. Once there, please turn the unit back on and this should restore the connectivity and your IHD will begin to display your data. Your data will normally be refreshed within 30 minutes.

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IF MY IHD LOSES CHARGE WILL MY CONSUMPTION HISTORY STILL HAVE BEEN RECORDED?

Yes, the smart meter stores your consumption data and once your IHD is powered back on it will retrieve your consumption information from your meter and be visible on the display. Your data will normally be refreshed within 30 minutes.

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I HAVE A SMART METER AND I HAVE CHANGED MY TARIFF ONLINE BUT THIS HAS NOT UPDATED ON MY IHD (IN-HOME DISPLAY).

After you change tariff it can take up to 7 days for this to be reflected on your IHD. Please be assured that this will not impact your bill in any way and that you will be billed on your new tariff rates even if they aren’t yet on your IHD.

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MY IHD (IN-HOME DISPLAY) IS SHOWING THAT I HAVE USED SIGNIFICANTLY MORE ENERGY TODAY THAN ON OTHER DAYS, IS THIS CORRECT?

Your new IHD is designed to provide you with real-time updates on your energy usage and also to show your consumption history. Most people’s consumption varies day to day and may be different due to a number of factors for example having more people in the house normally leads to higher consumption or having set days for washing and drying clothes could mean you use more energy on certain days. Helpful information is available on our website under our energy efficiency section.

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HOW SAFE IS A SMART METER?

Smart meters are covered under UK and EU product safety legislation, which requires manufacturers to ensure that any product placed on the market is safe. 

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) provides advice and information on the health implications of smart meters, as it does for a range of technologies commonly found in homes and businesses across the UK. Further information about smart meters and health can be found on the Health Protection Agency.

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IS MY SMART METER DATA SECURE?

We are committed to keeping customer information secure and we take a full range of measures to make sure all your data is fully protected. Your information is only accessed when necessary by those who need to see it and to provide you with the services you have asked for. Further to this all our staff members are trained on data protection and follow strict data protection guidelines. We also have specialist security and data protection teams to support them.

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WILL I BE CHARGED FOR A SMART METERING FAULT RESOLUTION?

No, you will not be charged, please contact us on 0800 027 0072 to arrange what happens next.

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WILL I BE CHARGED FOR A SMART METER?

Smart meters and their installation come at no extra cost and as part of the installation we also provide you with an In-Home Display (IHD) that allows you to monitor your energy usage. With your existing meter you currently pay a very small maintenance charge which is built into your bill, this will be the same for smart meters.

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I HAVE A SMART METER BUT HAVE JUST RECEIVED AN EMAIL TO PROVIDE METER READINGS, WHY IS THIS?

This can sometimes occur whilst your account is still being updated with your new smart meter information. Once your account has been updated these requests will stop and your regular bill will begin generating based on readings from your smart meter.

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I HAVE A SMART METER BUT A METER READER HAS COME TO TAKE READING, WHY IS THIS?

This can sometimes occur whilst your account is still being updated with your new smart meter information. Once your account has been updated you should no longer expect visits from meter readers.

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WHAT DO I DO IF I AM MOVING HOUSE AFTER THE SMART METERS ARE INSTALLED?

If you are moving house please contact us at least 24 hours before your moving day. This way we can ensure that both the meters and in-home display are remotely cleared of all consumption data and a final remote meter reading can be taken before the new occupier moves in. Please also make sure to leave your In-Home Display (IHD) behind for the new owner as is it paired directly with the meters and will not work in your new home.

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I HAVE HAD A SMART METER FITTED, WHY HAVE I RECEIVED AN ESTIMATED BILL?

There are two reasons that this can happen: 

  1. The first bill you receive after the installation of your smart meter may still show estimated meter readings. This is because your bill has been created before or around the time your meter was installed. Once our system fully updates with your new smart meter details all future bills will be based on accurate readings.
  2. Your meter sends us your latest readings through the mobile phone network. If there has been an interruption in the mobile signal during the time and we have been unable to obtain an actual reading then we will need to estimate your bill, this will normally be corrected on your next bill. To minimise this issue please also make sure that you move any items that may block the signal away from the meter. In the meantime you will be able to give us your meter readings online to ensure accurate billing.

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I ALREADY HAVE AN ENERGY MONITOR – IS A SMART METER THE SAME?

No, smart meters replace the existing gas and electricity meters and can send meter readings remotely back to ScottishPower. The new In-Home Display (IHD) will also connect remotely to the meters and provide data on your energy consumption which may help reduce your energy usage.

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DO I NEED TO HAVE AN INTERNET CONNECTION FOR THE SMART METER TO WORK?

No, you do not need to have an internet connection for smart meters to work. Depending on your location your smart meters will communicate by either using existing mobile or radio signals currently in your area.

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DO I NEED TO HAVE A SMART METER?

There is no legal obligation to have a smart meter installed. However Scottish Power are supportive of the Government mandated programme and are aiming to install smart meters in all customers' homes to help customers get the benefits of a smart meter.

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WILL I GET NEW METERS FOR GAS AND ELECTRICITY?

Yes both meters will be replaced however you will only need one In-Home Display (IHD) to view your usage for both services. 

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WHERE WILL THE NEW METERS BE INSTALLED?

Typically they will be installed in the current location of your gas and electricity meters.

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CAN I CHANGE ENERGY SUPPLIER AND STILL USE MY SMART METER?

You are free to switch suppliers at any time. Although all suppliers are doing their best to avoid any disruption to your smart services you may find that you lose some of your functionality. For instance, you may have to submit your meter readings again and detailed usage information may only be available through your In – Home display.

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WHAT IS THE SMART METERING INSTALLATION CODE OF PRACTICE (SMICOP)?

We work to the mandatory Smart Metering Installation Code of Practice (SMICOP), which sets the minimum standards for energy suppliers to follow in relation to the installation of smart meters. The main objectives of this code are to ensure you receive a high standard of service, that you know how to use your smart meter and have been given an understanding of how you could improve your energy efficiency through your smart meter.”

You can find out more about the Smart Metering Installation Code of Practice here.

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HOW ARE MY SMART CONSUMPTION GRAPHS CALCULATED?

Your smart consumption graphs calculate your energy consumption by taking the reading we have for the current time period e.g. today and we then minus the previous reading we have e.g. yesterday to give us your usage for that period.

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WHY DO SOME DAYS HAVE NO CONSUMPTION WHILE OTHERS HAVE VERY HIGH CONSUMPTION?

If we have been unable to get a reading from your meter for certain time periods we can only use the last available reading to help us calculate consumption. For example, if we receive a meter reading on Friday, but the last reading we received from your smart meter was on Tuesday then we can only calculate the energy you have used between the two readings meaning we cannot give a breakdown of the days in between.
This can sometimes cause days to have large spikes in usage and days where it appears there has been no energy usage. This should only happen on a very small number of occasions where your meter has poor signal strength. To help resolve this issue please make sure your electricity meter is clear of any obstructions.

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IN THE DAY VIEW, WHY DOES ONLY ONE DAY HAVE CONSUMPTION WHILE THE REST HAVE NONE?

This normally happens when you have changed your meter read frequency from monthly to daily or half-hourly. Previously we were only receiving a reading from your smart meter(s) once per month and so we would apply your monthly usage on the day that we received your latest reading.
From the day that your meter read frequency was updated you should begin to see a greater level of detail available on your graphs. We are unable to populate historic consumption data from before you updated your read frequency to a great level of detail.

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What is Alt HAN?

Alt HAN is an abbreviation for Alternative Home Area Network. In a smart metering context, it is best described as an Alternative Home Area Network, to deliver smart metering communication solutions.

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Why is Alt HAN required?

Over a million British households are currently unable to enjoy the many benefits of smart metering because they live in blackspots where the components of their “home area network” – energy meters, in-home devices and communications hub – are too far apart to connect with each other. Alt HAN communication solutions are designed to 'bridge this gap'.

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Why is the Alt HAN Co?

Alt HAN Co. is a unique entity, a regulated co-operative of the UK’s energy suppliers, created specifically to address this problem; to design and manufacture a range-extending “alternative home area network” solution capable of connecting the devices required for residents to enjoy the full smart metering experience.

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What types of buildings/premises require Alt HAN?

The types of premises that have been identified as requiring an Alt HAN solution include: Multi-Dwelling Units (e.g. Flats and apartments) and Large Single Premises (e.g. Large houses / farmhouses). It is typically required where the electricity meter, gas meter and In Home Display are located at such a distance away from each other, that standard HAN signal strength is insufficient to allow smart metering equipment to communicate with each another.

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How many buildings/premises require an Alt HAN solution?

As of Summer 2021, it is predicted that approximately 2.2% of premises throughout GB require an Alt HAN solution to enable smart metering services to work effectively.

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How does the technology work?

Alt HAN equipment works via a combination of communication solutions, including Zigbee and PLC (Power-line Communications).

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How will I know if my home or business requires an Alt HAN solution?

Alt HAN equipment works via a combination of communication solutions, including Zigbee and PLC (Power-line Communications).C8:C9C8C9

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When will Alt HAN be available?

During 2021, ScottishPower will be working with Alt HAN Co. on a trial of this new technology. General release of Alt HAN solutions for ScottishPower customers is expected from a date to be confirmed in 2022.

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What devices will be installed?

Typically, a premise will require two items of equipment to be installed, in addition to an In Home Display. However, depending on the premise configuration and the distance the HAN signal needs to travel, sometimes three devices are required.
Every premise that requires an Alt HAN solution will require a device installed in close proximity to the electricity meter and communications hub. Additional devices will include equipment that is installed close to the gas meter. There are also two variations of a 'plug and play' type device. These are in the form of a plug-through device that is installed in a plug socket.

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Where can I find out additional information about Alt HAN?

Further information can be obtained from the Alt HAN Co. website. However, for any specific questions, please ask ScottishPower who will be able to answer your enquiry.  https://www.althanco.com/

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Updated by spower | 13 Sep 21

Labels: Smart meters

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