GOING SMART: THE FUTURE OF METERING IN THE ENERGY INDUSTRY

To help create a more sustainable energy economy, the Government has directed energy suppliers to take all reasonable steps to install smart or AMR meters in smaller enterprise and domestic premises by the end of 2020.

Total Gas & Power is an accredited supplier under the Smart Metering Implementation Programme, and we are playing an important role in Great Britain's transition to a low-carbon economy by offering all eligible customers the option to install smart or AMR meters.

What are smart and AMR meters?

Smart meters are the new generation of energy meters while AMR is an attached device that transmits the meter reading. Both advanced meter technologies result in accurate bills and a reduction in estimates and manual meter reads.

Benefits of smart meters

Benefits of AMR meters

  • Allow you to easily monitor/manage energy consumption, giving you increased visibility of your energy use.
  • Capable of sending meter readings on a monthly, daily or half-hourly basis so you can be billed on actual reads.
  • Allow for two-way communication, meaning that we can interact with the meter remotely.
  • Alerts are provided in real time to let us know if there is a fault or issue with the meter.
  • Meter readings will be sent to us remotely every month, saving you time and hassle of providing us with accurate reads.
  • Improved billing with actual readings provides you more control to forecast usage and budget ahead – wave goodbye to estimated bills.
  • An enhanced AMR service is available on our Platinum service, providing you with daily meter readings and HH consumption data in a regular report.
  • Larger business customers are eligible for an AMR upgrade.

 

Smart and AMR Meter FAQs

The Department for Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has set a mandate of 31st December 2020 for energy suppliers to install a smart meter for all their domestic and small business customers in Great Britain. 

AMR devices will continue to be used in larger non-domestic businesses but the option to install either an AMR device or smart meter at smaller non-domestic premises was phased out on 5th December 2018, and now only smart meters can be installed.

Smart meters are the new generation of gas and electricity meters and sends automatic meter readings directly and securely to us as your designated energy supplier. AMR stands for Automated Meter Reader, which is a device that transmits the meter reading to us. Both advanced meter technologies result in accurate bills and a reduction in estimates and manual meter reads.

  Smart (SMETS2) AMR
Comms 2-Way 1-Way
Installation Meter Exchange/New Connection Meter Exchange/New Connection
Data Security Encrypted Established Industry File Flows
'Real Time' Alerts Yes No
Connection Bespoke Wireless System SIM Card
Read/Data Flow To supplier via DCC (Data Communications Company) To supplier via Data Collector
Customer Eligibility Domestic, MBC and Non-MBC Non-MBC only

Fill out this form. We’ll need your MPAN (electricity meter point administration number) / MPRN (gas meter point reference number), account number, site contact name, phone number and email address.

We’ll assess your request and inform you if you are not eligible within four weeks. If you are, we’ll pass your details on to our metering partner who’ll contact you directly to arrange an installation appointment.

The Smart Metering Installation Code of Practice (SMICoP) specifies the rules and standards for members to follow when installing a new smart meter to all eligible customers. Total Gas & Power is a member and the full code of practice can be found on the SMICoP website.

No, those customers who want to benefit from having a smart or AMR meter can have one installed at no extra cost, but installing a smart meter is always the customer’s choice. If you’d like to opt out of the smart metering programme, please email your account/meter number to [email protected] with the subject ‘Opt out’ or use the meter upgrade form to enter your details and select 'Opt out'.

An independent organisation whose role is to provide communication services between smart meters and energy suppliers, network operators and other authorised DCC users.

For further information please visit www.smartdcc.co.uk/about-dcc

Domestic or small and medium-sized (SME) consumers with a gas and/or electricity meter are entitled to have a smart meter fitted. Suppliers must take all reasonable steps to install the smart meter.

Micro business consumers meeting the above criteria will be offered to have a smart meter installed. For further information on MBC rules please visit www.ofgem.gov.uk/key-term-explained/micro-business-consumer

Non-micro business consumers can choose to have a smart meter or AMR installed.

AMR devices communicate with SMS and therefore need very little signal strength. The device contains a roaming SIM which allows the installer to obtain the strongest signal. If necessary, a fixed phone line can be installed (electricity meters only). The costs will be passed onto the customer. For gas meters, the solutions include extended cabling and logger repositioning.

Smart meters use an entirely separate and secure wireless system. You don't need wi-fi in your property for it to work, and it won't use your wi-fi if you have it.

Yes, both meters will be replaced. We cannot guarantee that these will be done at the same time as you may not have all meters with us.  Where possible, we are able to identify dual fuel sites upfront we will endeavour to offer a dual fuel appointment.

Yes, for installation of either type of meter upgrade, the gas or electricity will be off for a period of time. The length of time and expected disruption will be discussed with you during the process of making an appointment. For AMR the estimated times are around 20 minutes for electricity meters and from 30 minutes to 4 hours for gas meters (dependent on meter size). Our agents will always agree a suitable time for these works to minimise disruption at site.

Total Gas & Power will start offering smart meters during the second quarter of 2019 to gas siteworks and electricity new connection customers. However, for current customers the smart rollout will commence from mid-2019 for electricity, with dual fuel sites and gas to follow. Total Gas & Power will be working with meter operators to deliver this.

In time, yes. All smart meters have to comply with a smart metering equipment technical specification (SMETS) version. If the customer has the latest version (SMETS2), the meter will retain its smart capability. However, if the meter is a SMETS1, some customers may experience meter interoperability issues meaning the new supplier may not be able to retrieve readings remotely. There is an ongoing programme within the industry to ensure all SMETS1 meters are enrolled with the DCC to commence making them fully smart in 2019. 

The customer and Total Gas & Power will have access to this information, which is strictly regulated and controlled. This data cannot be passed onto a third party without your consent. Total Gas & Power will only use your consumption data for the purposes of servicing the supply contract.

We are committed to protecting your privacy and any personal data is held in compliance with GDPR requirements. For further details please see our page on data privacy.

If you need any assistance please get in touch at [email protected] or call us on 01737 27575 and we will provide you with a tailored communication format, such as a translation service.

No. They remain the property of the meter operator or AMR provider. If you move out of the property or change supplier the meter will remain at site all parties will be updated with the change.

There will be no impact on your feed-in tariff if you opt to install a smart meter.

As part of Smart Energy Code of Practice (SEC) all suppliers must change a smart meter in pre-payment mode to credit mode, prior to transfer of supply. If you have a smart meter operating in pre-payment mode then we should be able to transfer you into our supply without interruption to your service. We do not support pre-payment meters, so if the current supplier does not adhere with the SEC, then you could experience an interruption to supply.

Smart meters are as accurate as traditional meters. A BEIS study from November 2018 states ‘74% of consumers reported they were satisfied with their overall smart meter experience a year after installation’.

For more on this, please visit this Government report on the Smart Metering Implementation Programme.

By law, all smart meters have to be certified by the Office for Product Safety and Standards to prove their accuracy, but if you do think there’s a fault, you can report it to your energy supplier in the same way you do now.

When the AMR installation has been completed, communications will update the industry databases and our records. The AMR team review the updates on a weekly basis to ensure everything has been correctly received and if not will manually process the change.
The first AMR read is usually available for invoicing within three to six weeks of the completed work.

For smart meters, we will be able to receive the new, accurate reads as soon as the meter is initialised, and they will be taken on the 1st of each month.

In the event of an equipment fault, we will send an engineer to site to investigate and resolve the issue at no additional cost. If you think your meter is faulty, please email us at [email protected] or call 01737 275757.

No. The AMR meter is ATEX and zone zero approved and smart meters have undergone rigorous safety testing and exceed every UK and EU safety standard. Public Health England sees no risk to health from smart meters.

No, the customer remains protected by strict regulations against us switching off or disconnecting their Gas or Electricity supply. This protection remains as strong with AMR and smart meters as traditional meters.

The Carbon Trust provides useful energy saving advice for your business, including ideas to encourage employee awareness and industry-specific energy saving guides. Visit carbontrust.com/resources/guides/.

For further information on smart please visit:
www.gov.uk/government/news/smart-meters-the-smart-choice
www.gov.uk/guidance/smart-meters-how-they-work

Alternatively, you can also email the Smart Team mailbox: [email protected]

As we value our customers' feedback and wish to ensure the smooth running of your account(s), we have a complaints procedure in place. It provides a structured approach to handle complaints and ensures we are consistent in servicing customers who have reason to complain.

If you would like to raise a complaint, please visit gas-power.total.co.uk/quick-links/complaints.

Yes. Working with our metering partners, we can provide daily meter reads and half hourly consumption data via online applications or automated reports. This helps you to detect and eliminate energy wastage, benchmark the performance of your sites, identify energy saving opportunities, and evaluate and report on the success of your energy and carbon reduction initiatives.

For further information contact the Data Team on [email protected] or 01737 275761

Our two agents are SMS and Energy Assets (EAL) and both work closely with us and our customers to deliver the highest level of service, running through detailed check lists before booking appointments, and calling prior to the agreed date to confirm access will still be granted. They will also respond to any site-specific instructions or questions you may have.

Total Gas & Power will appoint the relevant AMR agent without the need for site disruption. For gas this only applies where the existing AMR provider is EAL or SMS.