This page contains 3 handy smart meter guides:
- Smart Meter Instructions
- Energy Efficiency Guide
- Smart Meter Data - A guide to your rights and choices
They are available to download at the bottom of the page. If you need any of the information in this guide in another language, braille, audio transcription or large print please contact us, and we will arrange this.
Smart Meter Instructions
This guide tells you all you need to know about how to use your SMETS2 Smart meter and In-Home Display.
What’s in this guide:
- How to use your Smart Meter
- How to use your In-Home Display
- Useful information
- Smart data guide
How to use your Smart Meter
What are Smart Meters?
Smart Meters record your energy usage just like traditional meters. The technology built into them can help you get to grips with your usage patterns and costs. This valuable insight gives you the opportunity to save money on your bills by adjusting and reducing your energy consumption.
How does having a Smart Meter benefit me?
Your Smart Meter sends meter readings to your supplier automatically, saving you the hassle of reading your meter. This means you’ll receive accurate bills. Your In-Home Display allows you to see in real time, how much energy you’re using in your home and approximately how much it’s costing you.
For Social Energy customers, having a Smart Meter which is set up to send us data every half an hour is essential to be able to access your Energy Trading and Off-Peak Energy benefits. These benefits make up around 25% of the potential savings from your battery and hub.
How to read your electricity meter
Press A to turn on the screen light so you can see the display clearly. Now use button A to scroll through the displays – each press will move on to the next display. Scroll until you reach a display called Import Active Energy – you’ll see a number followed by kWh - this is your meter reading.
How to read your gas meter
Press any of the three red buttons under the display screen to wake the meter up and turn on the screen light. The display you need starts with a V and ends with m3 – the number in between is your meter reading.
What to do if your supply is disconnected
If your energy supply is interrupted, you’ll need to restore it. To restore your electricity, press A and B together for 5 seconds. To restore your gas, your meter will prompt you to turn off all your gas appliances and then push any button to continue.
How to use your In-Home Display
Your installer will talk you through how to use your In-Home Display (IHD) and advise you of the best place to position the IHD in your home.
Please read these safety precautions before using your IHD:
- Keep your IHD in a dry place indoors - if it gets wet, turn it off, disconnect it and dry it out then turn it back on
- Disconnect before cleaning and use a soft dry cloth to clean the display
- Avoid dropping, or causing excessive shock or vibration to your IHD
- If you need to dispose of your IHD, please take it to a recycling centre
- Don’t try to open, repair or service the IHD yourself, if it’s faulty please tell us
- Only use the power adaptor supplied with the IHD
- The IHD contains a lithium ion battery, so don’t expose it to excessive heat or puncture it and supervise children if they use it
Your IHD at a glance
- The signal strength between you IHD & Smart Meter
- IHD battery level and charging status
- 24hour clock
- Your energy use at a glance
- Power = electricity, flame = gas
- Shows your budget
- Your energy usage and cost
- Messages & prompts show here
- Use these arrows to scroll through information & functions
- This shows whether you are currently using electricity
- On/off button (on the back)
It’s simple and easy to use your IHD. You can access all its functions by using the 7 buttons along the bottom of the screen.
Help with your IHD
Your In-Home Display has a built-in tutorial to show you how it works. Press MENU/OK, then use the right arrow to go to Tutorial and press MENU/OK.
Make your IHD your own
Why not tailor your IHD so it’s just right for you? Press MENU/OK and go to Settings. You can customise these options:
- Set your budget
- Screen brightness
- Night mode (device dims between midnight and 7am)
- Key tones
- Budget alert
- Language (English or Welsh)
See your usage instantly
The Energy Usage Dial instantly shows how much electricity you’re using. You can choose to view this as current usage, this week, this month or this year. The coloured lights at the bottom of your screen show your current usage as either low, medium or high.
Set your budget
Decide how much you want to spend each day, week or month. Press MENU/OK, go to Settings/Set Budget then press MENU/OK. Use the arrows to set your budget, change your fuel type and preferred time period.
Keep track of how much energy you’re using on the Energy Usage Dial on your home screen. An alarm will sound when you exceed your budget. This can be turned off in the Settings menu.
Get smart about saving energy
Your IHD has an in-built rechargeable battery and connects wirelessly to your Smart Meter so you can walk around your home and investigate what your appliances costs to run and where you can make savings. Turn each appliance on and off to see how your costs change. The battery lasts for about 4 hours before it needs to be plugged in again. You’ll find more energy saving tips and advice in our Energy Efficiency Guide.
Why should I ask Social Energy to collect half-hourly data from my smart meter?
Readings will be collected half-hourly to enable our AI technology to manage your energy bills, giving better visibility of your consumption and more control over how your account is managed. Social Energy will use the meter readings to deliver your personalised consumption graphs and energy efficiency advice through your online account. The more frequently we retrieve your readings the more personalised and detailed the information will be.
I’ve got a Smart Meter now, why is my bill still estimated?
It may be that we didn’t receive an accurate reading before your new smart meters were installed. Don’t worry, this will be accurately reflected in your next bill. Or there may have been an interruption to the wireless communications signal, which resulted in us not receiving your meter readings. This will be corrected once the signal is restored.
Why is my bill much larger/smaller than before?
Your Smart Meter sends accurate readings, so your bills are now based entirely on the energy you’ve used, rather than estimated figures.
Why does my bill not match the energy shown on my IHD?
Your IHD doesn’t show the credits or savings you earn through Social Energy.
Where should I keep my IHD?
You should keep your IHD somewhere convenient for you to see and use, and where it can maintain signal with your meters.
My IHD has lost signal to my Smart Meter, what shall I do?
Turn the IHD off by pressing the power button on the back for 10 seconds. Move the IHD closer to your meters, then turn it back on. This should restore the connection and your IHD will display your usage data again. It may take up to 30 minutes for the data shown on your IHD to refresh after a loss of signal.
I’ve got a Smart Meter and I’m moving to a new house, what do I need to do?
Please contact us to let us know you’re moving. We will remotely clear your meters and IHD of your consumption data and take a final meter reading before the new occupier moves in. Your IHD is paired with your meters, so please leave this behind for the new occupier to use. It won’t work in your new house.
Our Energy Efficiency Guide is available on our website and your engineer will offer additional advice tailored to you and your home during your smart meter installation.
Should a fault occur with your smart meters, please tell us and we will repair or replace them free of charge. If your In-Home Display is found to be faulty within 12 months of your installation, we will repair or replace it free of charge.
If your gas or electricity is supplied by another company, they’ll arrange a separate smart meter installation for that fuel.
We’ve signed up to the Smart Metering Installation Code of Practice (SMICOP). SMICOP sets the standard for suppliers to work to during the smart meter roll-out, to make sure that customers like 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. Find out more at www.smicop.co.uk
There’s plenty of independent help & advice available about smart meters provided by other organisations who are there to assist you. Have a look at these websites:
Please get in touch if you’d like any further information about your new meter or IHD, for help with query resolution, or to provide feedback. You can chat to a member of our team by clicking on the purple chat icon in the bottom right corner.
Alternatively, you can call 0333 016 5889 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Energy Efficiency Guide
What’s in this guide?
- Small changes, big difference
- Energy saving products
- Long term investments
- Independent advice
Small changes, big difference
Improving the energy efficiency of your home doesn’t have to cost the earth. Little changes can make a big difference to reducing your energy consumption. That’s good news for your bills and for our planet.
It’s important to find a balance between heating, insulation and ventilation. Get this right and your house will be warm dry and airy. If one of these is out of kilter, you could end up with excessive condensation which leads to damp.
It’s a good idea to shut your windows when the heating’s on, but don’t leave them closed all the time or you risk condensation building up.
To stop heat escaping, use the oven window to check on food rather than opening the door.
Keep your fridge and freezer running efficiently by defrosting them regularly. Fill your freezer! If your freezer is only half full, every time you open it warm air fills all the empty spaces and your freezer has to work harder to cool back down.
If you have a microwave, use it. They use less energy than an oven because they heat quicker.
Setting your thermostat just one degree lower than usual can save a up to £50 a year on your energy bill. It’s recommended that you keep it set between 18 – 21 degrees.
Make sure you know how to use the timer on your boiler so that you can set it to come on when you’re going to be at home to make use of the heat.
Check that the thermostat on your hot water tank is set to the recommended temperature of 60 degrees.
Remember to make use of your radiator valves. They control the rate that hot water flows through each radiator so you can turn different radiators up, down or off to suit you.
Drying clothes on radiators stops the heat from circulating around the room and can cause excessive moisture inside. Whenever possible, dry your clothes outside instead.
Switch off your TV, PC and other devices before you go to bed. Switch extension leads off at the plug and turn off lights when you leave the room.
Switch off your phone charger at the plug when it’s not in use. It uses energy even if it’s not charging your phone.
Vacuum your radiators. Dust can prevent the heat circulating the room, so your radiators have to work harder.
Ever dusted your lightbulbs? It may sound strange, but dusty bulbs won’t be as bright as they could be which means you might end up buying higher wattage bulbs than you need.
Every now and then give the coils on the back of your fridge a good clean. If they’re clogged with dust the fridge will have to work harder and use more energy.
Freshen up your filters! Give your dishwasher, washing machine and tumble dyer filters a good clean. They’ll work more efficiently and be less likely to break down.
Like long soaks in the bath? Take a shower instead! The Energy Saving Trust estimates that a family of 4 can save up to £20 a year on gas bills by swapping one bath a week for a shower. Bear in mind that one minute less under the shower will reduce your energy bills too.
When it’s time to replace your appliances, make sure you buy A-rated or above. They may be a little more expensive, but usually the cost you save on your energy bills will counteract that extra spend within a couple of years.
Energy saving products
Here are a few ideas for low-cost quick fix products which can help you save energy – you should find them all for sale in your local hardware store.
Use draught excluders to cover under door gaps to keep the breeze out. Fixing low friction or compression seals to the bottom of your door also help with draught proofing. Insulation tape attached around your windows will also prevent the outside air getting in.
Remember, your house doesn’t need to be 100% draught proof, you need good ventilation too.
LED light bulbs last longer than incandescent or halogen bulbs and use 90% less energy. Put radiator reflector foil behind your radiators to reflect heat back into the room. Use appliance timers to control when and how long your appliances come on for.
These energy saving products usually carry the same efficiency rating as appliances, so remember to check before you buy.
Long term investments
As a Social Energy customer, you’ve already made some big changes to your home by having solar panels, your battery and Social Energy hub installed.
Around 35% of heat escapes through the walls of your house. How to tackle this depends on how your walls are built. If you have cavity walls, cavity wall insulation could can help keep the warm in. Some companies provide this for free if you meet certain criteria. If your walls are solid, you could consider internal or external wall insulation. Remember to check what’s suitable for your property first.
A quarter of heat is lost through your loft, so laying insulation will make your home warmer and help reduce your bills.
A tenth of heat is lost through your windows. You have a couple options; the cheapest is to install magnetic secondary glazing. These are magnetic panels that are produced to fit your windows. Alternatively, you could install double or triple glazing, it’s not cheap but it will help to save money on your energy bills every year.
Make sure that your hot water tank has a well-fitting lag jacket to save £25-£35 a year, or even more if you heat your water by electricity. Most new hot water tanks come with these as standard, if yours doesn’t you can pick one up from a DIY store for around £20.
If you have an older boiler in your house, consider changing it to a new condensing version. They recycle the heat in the waste exhaust gases making it up to 90% more efficient. Make sure you choose the best boiler for your household – typically combi boilers are best suited to smaller houses with fewer residents, while larger households will benefit from a system or conventional boiler.
More energy saving advice
Independent advice to help you reduce your energy usage and cut your bills can be found
Citizens Advice www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/energy/energy-supply/get-help-paying-your-bills/make-sure-your-home-is-energy-efficient/ Call: 03454 04 05 06 England or 03454 04 05 05 Wales
Smart Energy GB https://www.smartenergygb.org/en/smart-living/energy-saving-tips
Energy Saving Trust www.energysavingstrust.co.uk Email: email@example.com Call: 0300 123 1234 England & Wales
Home Energy Scotland www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/scotland/home-energy-scotland Call: 0808 808 2282 Scotland
Simple Energy Advice www.simpleenergyadvice.org.uk/ Call: 0800 444202
Smart meter data - A guide to your rights and choices
The key facts
Smart meters are being installed in every home in Great Britain between now and 2020. Your energy supplier will tell you when they plan to install your smart meter between now and then. The Government is overseeing the rollout of smart meters and has set out the rules for the management and use of data collected from your smart meters. Your Energy Supplier will continue to hold your personal details on your account
Smart meters record more information than current gas and electricity meters. They will store the amount of energy you have used in each 30-minute period. Your energy supplier will collect meter readings remotely. You can choose how much of this information you share with your energy supplier. If you do nothing your supplier can collect a daily meter read
The choices you can make
▪ How much data your energy supplier collects from your smart meter, e.g. monthly, daily or half-hourly meter reads
▪ Whether your supplier shares details about your energy consumption with other organisations;
▪ Whether your supplier can use your meter reads for sales and marketing purposes; How you can access information about your energy use and get the most benefit from it
▪ Once you have made your choice on any of these, you can change your mind at any time Please contact us for more details about:
▪ The smart meter roll-out
▪ Making use of your smart meter data
▪ How your data will be used and who it will be shared with
▪ Making any of the choices above
▪ Any other questions about your data you might have
For independent advice about your rights and choices relating to your personal information contact The Information Commissioner’s Office at www.ico.org.uk or via the ICO Helpline on 0303 123 1113.