If you have a smart meter and want to switch energy supplier, is this possible and what are the implications? We explore this in this article.
To help meet stringent environmental impact requirements, the Government has dictated that gas and electricity suppliers must provide and fit smart meters for everyone in Britain by 2020.
This means that if your home hasn’t already been fitted with one, it won’t be long before your energy company contacts you to arrange an installation for you.
A seperate meter will be installed for gas and electricity so if you are a dual fuel user, you will have two meters installed, however these will connect to only one in-home display to view both your gas and electricity usage.
There are definitley benefits to having a smart meter installation such as seeing how much gas and electricity you are actually using, thereby encouraging you to find ways to cut down on usage. Your metesr will also automatically send frequent readings to your energy supplier so that your bills should be more accurate, freeing you from that dreaded “estimated reading” on your statements.
However, what happens if, or, ideally when, you decide to switch energy provider if you altready have smart meters installed?
Smart meters contain sim cards to contact your supplier
Smart meters contain mobile phone technology and a sim card to allow them to connect to computers at your energy supplier regularly and update your account with accurate and up to date readings.
If you wish to change energy supplier, the smart meters will still work and display instantaneous electricity and gas usage, however they will not connect to your new supplier until a new sim card has been installed, and the software re-configured to allow the meter to establish a connection with their computers.
Do my smart meters work with any energy provider?
Having smart meters does not in any way prevent you from being able to change supplier. Your new supplier can let you know if you are able to keep your smart meters benefits such as having them upload your readings automatically.
Some of the smaller and newer suppliers have not yet implemented smart meter technologies.
Bulb are an example of a smaller supplier who are unable to receive readings from currently installed smart meters. This is what their approach is, as stated in their community forum :
[Bulb] aren’t offering smart meters just yet, but we will be rolling them out in early 2018.
In late 2017, we will let our members know exactly which smart meters we will be offering.
Some suppliers are already rolling out smart meters, but they are using ‘first generation’ smart meters, and these first generation meters don’t always work if you change your supplier. We think it’d be a disadvantageous to do that to our members, so we will begin installing second generation meters as soon as we can get them in early 2018. The good news is these second generation meters will be able to communicate with any supplier.
This doesn’t mean that having existing smart meters prevents you from switching to Bulb. It just means that you will have to supply manual readings to energy providers like them who don’t currently provide smart meter based services.
If you just want to EARN and SAVE money with Bulb click this referer link.
We have smart meters and are switching to Bulb
Our existing supplier, Utility Warehouse, has recently installed gas and electricity smart meters into our home.
However we would save money by switching to Bulb and I definitely like the idea of using 100% renewable electricity and gas that comes from 10% renewable sources too.
I have since found that not only can you save money, you can EARN money by switching to Bulb.
I intend to write about our experience of switching to Bulb – to show how easy it is in practise and to see what happens about our smart meters.
It should be an interesting journey and I hope it proves as painless and easy as the energy companies make it sound. Keep in touch to see how we get on!