As the deadline for energy suppliers to offer smart meters to domestic and small business customers approaches on 30 June 2025, an increasing number of homes are equipped with these devices. Despite their benefits, smart meters can have issues, especially first generation models (SMETS1). This article covers common problems and their solutions, ensuring a smooth smart meter experience for homeowners.
Common Smart Meter Issues and Solutions
Beeping Smart Meters
Smart meters sometimes produce beeping noises, which can become bothersome. The reasons and solutions for this are as follows:
If a smart meter’s battery is running low, it will beep to alert you. Recharging the battery or keeping the smart meter plugged in constantly will resolve this problem.
Exceeding Daily Allowance
A smart meter may beep when daily energy usage surpasses a preset limit. To stop the beeping, consider adjusting the allowance.
Beeping may also indicate a weak signal between the smart meter display and the meter itself. Try moving the display closer or restarting the device to reconnect it.
Smart Meters and New Suppliers
Previously, first generation smart meters (SMETS1) would stop functioning when homeowners switched energy providers. However, this issue should be resolved now that most SMETS1 devices are enrolled in the DCC wireless network. Before switching suppliers, ensure your smart meter’s functionality will be maintained.
If your existing meter is hard to access, a gas engineer might request you to dismantle any obstacles before installation. If a communal locked door is the issue, provide the installer with keys upon arrival.
Smart Meters Not Sending Readings
If your smart meter isn’t sending readings to your energy provider, the issue may stem from a WAN or HAN connection. Contact your provider for a meter health check and follow their guidance. Note that it may take up to 6 weeks after installation for smart readings to appear in online billing.
Debunking Smart Meter Myths
In addition to genuine problems, there are some misconceptions about smart meters:
Smart meters use radio waves to transmit data, which Public Health England (PHE) has confirmed are not harmful. They fall well within international guidelines for radiation.
While first generation smart meters relied on SIM cards and were unsuitable for areas with poor mobile reception, second generation devices use the smart data network, which covers over 99.25% of the UK. Both SMETS1 and SMETS2 devices should be compatible with nearly all homes.
Smart Meters for Renters
Renters can request smart meters as they belong to the energy supplier, not the homeowner. Check with your landlord to avoid violating your tenancy agreement.
Smart meters only measure gas and electricity usage, and do not store or share personally identifiable information. SMETS1 and SMETS2 devices connect to a secure smart data network and offer encrypted data sharing with your supplier.
To comply with legal requirements, energy suppliers must offer smart meters to customers by 30 June 2025. Understanding potential issues and their solutions, as well as debunking common myths, can help ensure a positive smart meter experience for all homeowners.