For energy saving advice and support
in the Bristol and Somerset area:
0800 082 2234

Living Smarter

Our team are helping residents in the Wiltshire and Bath & North East Somerset area to get a better understanding of the role of Smart Meters in our homes - how they can help us save energy and stay warm for less money this winter.

Look out for our team at an event near you, they can help with your energy issues - from answering concerns about smart meters to help lower your bills.

5 Smart Meter Myths

  1. You can’t switch supplier. 2nd generation meters will allow uninterrupted switching between suppliers. 
  2. Smart meters can spy on you. Smart meters can’t spy; they can only measure energy use and share the readings with your supplier. 
  3. Renters can’t get a smart meter. If you pay the bills and the meter belongs to your supplier, then you have the right to request a smart meter.  
  4. Not all homes can have smart meters. Almost all homes can currently have smart meters and as connectivity improves and as the smart meter rollout continues everyone should be able to have one installed by 2020. 
  5. Smart meters are dangerous. The government watchdog on public health says that smart meters do not pose a risk to health in installation or infrequent radio wave bursts; they emit a lower EMF reading than your mobile phone or microwave.

Big 6 FAQ’s

What is a smart meter?

Smart meters are the new generation of gas and electricity meters to replace traditional meters, including prepay key meters and Economy 7 and 10 Meters. They send automatic meter readings directly and securely to your energy supplier, resulting accurate bills, an end to estimates and manual meter readings

How can I get a smart meter?

Your energy supplier will contact you between now and 2020 to arrange your installation. There is no extra cost for a smart meter or for the in-home display.

What if I have a prepay or Economy 7 meter?

Smart meters will make prepay as easy as pay-as-you-go on your mobile. If you choose smart prepay, you should be able to see your credit, top up online, app, telephone or via text, top up in person at a local shop, outlet and pay the same rates as everyone else. Suppliers will be able to support Economy 7 and 10 second generation smart meters. These specialised meters are being developed and will be available shortly.

What is the in-home display and what does it do?

It is a handheld digital device that sits in your home. This may be called lots of things - like an IHD or smart meter display. It takes information from your smart meter and shows you in near real time how much energy you're using in pounds and pence.

Are Smart Meters safe?

The smart meter system is very secure and smart meters are not dangerous. Public Health England sees no risk or dangers to health from smart meters. Your smart meter has information about how much gas and electricity you’ve used, but doesn’t store other personal information that could identify you, such as your name, address or bank account so it is secure.

How do I prepare for installation?

Your energy supplier will contact you and arrange a time and date that suits you and tell you what to expect, how long it will take and if there's anything special you need to do. You will need to be at home to let the installer in, make sure the installer can get to your current meter and be prepared to have your electricity supply for up to half an hour and the visit to take around 2 hours.

5 Benefits of Smart Meters

  1. See what you are spending. Start to see your energy differently. It will help you to monitor what you are using – and wasting – in near real time. 
  2. Good energy habits. You can set energy saving goals and budgets and see what you’re using in pounds and pence. 
  3. No more manual readings. Manual readings will become a thing of the past as smart meters are self-reading.
  4. Works with a pre-payment meter. You can simply top up on your app, online or with your In Home Display when you’re nearly out of credit. There’s also an emergency credit button you can press if you need a bit of extra time to top up.
  5. Building a Smart energy Britain. Helping to create a smart grid, conserving energy, making use more efficient and collectively saving energy.

Our project partners, Age UK Wiltshire and Smart Energy GB, are experts in Smart technology and together we're working to bust myths and de-mystify the transition to Smart Meters in our homes.

Smart Energy GB ( is the national campaign for the smart meter rollout. It’s independent of government, not an energy supplier and it doesn’t fit smart meters. It’s role is to make sure people understand smart meters and how to use them to get their gas and electricity under control.

Frequently asked questions

How do I know if I'm getting a good deal from my gas & electricity supplier?

Suppliers often change their tariffs and therefore if you want to be sure that you are getting the best deal it is worth checking comparison websites every six months to a year. Energy suppliers are now also required to provide you with assistance to ensure the tariff you are paying for is most suitable for your needs.

Need more help?

We can advise you about saving energy, or help you understand what grants and support you're eligible for:

Contact us Or freephone: 0800 082 2234

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Can I get financial help towards high bills?

If you think your bills are too high, firstly discuss them with your energy supplier as there may be an alternative tariff which would suit you better. If you receive Pension Credit or another income related benfit then you might qualify for the Warm Home Discount which is a rebate from your fuel supplier on your electricity bill. Some fuel suppliers have charitable trust funds that help people who have fuel debt that they cannot pay off.

Need more help?

We can advise you about saving energy, or help you understand what grants and support you're eligible for:

Contact us Or freephone: 0800 082 2234

Next question

View all frequently asked questions

How do I complain about my energy supplier?

If you have a complaint it is best to try and resolve this issue by first talking to your energy supplier. If the matter is not resolved you can contact Consumer Focus or your local Citizens Advice Bureau who may refer your case to the Energy Ombudsman.

Need more help?

We can advise you about saving energy, or help you understand what grants and support you're eligible for:

Contact us Or freephone: 0800 082 2234

Next question

View all frequently asked questions

Covid-19: How we can help you during the crisis

Contact us if you live in South West England and would like advice on:

Topping up your prepayment meter  water & energy bills switching supplier benefits housing food banks & food delivery prescriptions befriending services debt ...

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Need more help?

Depending on where you live and who you buy your energy from, we can help you with grants and support.

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