Transforming the UK’s energy infrastructure

The move to AMR and Smart metering is the biggest change in the energy market since deregulation in 1998. It marks the start of a process to harmonise the industry and it is hoped this will lead to reductions in carbon emissions too.

AMR and Smart meters are designed to give consumers more visibility of their energy use. They communicate consumption data directly to suppliers to help predict demand, making energy generation, and management of the energy system, more efficient as well as sending automatic meter readings to help with accurate invoicing.

nBS metering update

At the present time, we are not able to support the functionality of electricity or gas Smart metering. This means that we are currently only able to install AMR meters, which we can support and manage fully.

If you are interested in having a Smart meter installed, you can register your interest with us. By doing so, this will be on the basis that we are currently not in a position whereby we can advise you if, or when, we will be able to manage SMETS2 Smart meters in the future. However, we will of course keep you updated when we have a clearer view of what our plans will be. It is important to us that we set your expectations upfront, which is why, at the current time, we cannot specify when we will be able to manage SMETS2 Smart metering.

Register your interest now

If you are an nBS customer and keen to get your new AMR or Smart meter installed, then please complete our AMR/Smart meter interest form.

Alternatively, you can call us on 0330 100 7651

Our team is here to help Monday to Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm.

  • Traditional meters – often referred to as ‘trad’, this is old technology that is reliant on a meter reader physically obtaining meter readings from a customer’s premises or the customer providing them manually
  • AMR meters – remote reads are obtained by the Data Collector (DC) and sent to the supplier. They use a different communication network to Smart and can record energy consumption at up to Half-Hourly (HH) level. AMR meters can be used for all electric and gas metering types
  • Smart meters – there are currently two versions; SMETS1 and SMETS2

SMETS1 Smart meters communicate to suppliers via multiple service providers and any new supplier may not have commercial arrangements with that provider. 

The communication for SMETS2 Smart meters is provided by a single central communication provider (the DCC) which delivers full interoperability if you change your supplier. This is the meter type that we will be installing as part of our deployment plan for eligible customers.

SMETS2 Smart meters communicate to suppliers via a single central communication provider (the DCC) which delivers full interoperability if you change your supplier. 

Please be advised that currently we are unable to support both SMETS1 and SMETS2 Smart meters and, where relevant, we will aim to replace those meters with an AMR meter.

 

For microbusiness customers, the choice is whether they wish to accept a Smart meter. However, non-micro business consumers have the choice between meters and our tables below detail the features of both meter types across electricity and gas.*

*A customer can be defined as a non-micro business customer if it consumes more than 100,000 kWh (for electricity) or more than 293,000 kWh (for gas) and it has 10 or more employees and an annual turnover or balance sheet exceeding 2 million Euros. 

Metering information - electricity

Feature SMETS2 Smart meter Automated Meter Reading (AMR) meter
Records consumption at Half-Hourly (HH) intervals? Yes Yes
Remotely sends meter readings back to the supplier? Yes Yes
Used for all metering types? Non-Current Transformer (CT) metered sites on profile class 1-4 electricity supplies Yes
Three phase capability?
(Three phase electricity is connected at 400 or 415 volts, by three active wires or phases and one neutral. This is mostly used in industrial and large commercial settings with powerful appliances).
Yes Yes
Records meter readings daily? Yes Yes
Stores HH consumption on the meter? Up to 24 months Up to 12 months
Market Interoperable?
(Meters that are not interoperable would lose some of their functionality if they were to move to a new energy supplier).
Yes (dependent on the meter being enrolled onto the Data Communications Company (DCC) and the supplier being able to support the metering technology) Yes (dependent on the supplier being able to support the metering technology)
The meter is remotely configurable? Yes Yes
Available for installation? Currently not available* Yes
Enhanced energy management opportunities? Currently not available* Yes

Metering information - gas

Feature SMETS2 Smart meter Automated Meter Reading (AMR) meter
Records consumption at Half-Hourly (HH) intervals? Yes Yes
Remotely sends meter readings back to the supplier? Yes Yes
Used for all metering types? Use on gas supplies with an annual consumtion of = < 732,000kWh with a small gas meter Use on large gas meters and small gas meters with an annual consumption of = > 293,000kWh
 
Records meter readings daily? Yes Yes
Stores HH consumption on the meter? Up to 24 months Up to 12 months
Market Interoperable?
(Meters that are not interoperable would lose some of their functionality if they were to move to a new energy supplier).
Yes (dependent on the meter being enrolled onto the Data Communications Company (DCC) and the supplier being able to support the metering technology) Yes (dependent on the supplier being able to support the metering technology)
The meter is remotely configurable? Yes Yes
Available for installation? Currently not available* Yes
Enhanced energy management opportunities? Currently not available* Yes

*npower Business Solutions (nBS) is not currently in a position whereby we can advise you when we will be able to manage SMETS2 Smart meters in future.

While AMR and Smart meters do have some differences, both provide the following additional functionality:

  • No more meter reading visits: we will read your meter remotely, so you will no longer need to provide us access for periodic meter reading site visits or provide manual reads yourself*
  • No more estimated invoices: collecting your meter reads remotely every month ensures your invoices are more accurate and based on actual usage*

*As long as your meter is operating correctly. If there is any fault or issue in obtaining a meter read, then there may be a need for manual meter reads and/or estimated invoicing until the fault or issue is rectified. If you have a gas meter/device there will be an ongoing requirement for us to check that your AMR meter/device is recording correctly and we will contact you accordingly.

You qualify to have an AMR or Smart meter fitted if your on-site electricity meter is in profile classes 1 to 4. For gas, your meter must have an annual consumption equal to 732,000 kWh or less.

 
  • We will need you to confirm your site address, a contact there and the location of the meter being replaced, plus any special access instructions, such as operational hours. It would also be helpful to know if there is parking available nearby for our meter installer and directions on how to find it
  • It is important that you let us know of any vulnerabilities that you or someone on-site may have. For example, if you have equipment that requires a continuous supply of electricity or gas
  • The timescales required for each visit can vary, and we will provide more details once your appointment is confirmed
  • Please be aware that if you have any on-site generation (for instance, solar panels or a wind turbine), then this could prevent an AMR meter from being installed. There may also be further constraints and, if this is the case, we will discuss this with you in more detail

Before your appointment, it’s important that you provide a meter reading, so please submit this online. We can then ensure your account is up-to-date.

On the day

  • Our installer will carry out an assessment of your site and meter to establish whether the installation can take place
  • On average, your electricity will need to be switched off for 30-45 minutes
  • There is no need for a gas outage when we attempt the installation

Our plan for installing AMR meters

As part of our deployment plan we will be installing AMR meters in stages up to the end of June 2021 in-line with our deployment profile and taking into account customers’ eligibility. We will let you know when we are ready to work with you to install an AMR meter at your premises. The work to replace your meter will be carried out at no extra cost to your business.

Please note, it is not compulsory for you to have an AMR meter installed, and you have the right to refuse.

 

We will remotely collect a reading from your AMR meter once a month unless instructed otherwise, in-line with data options (further details provided below), which we will use for the purposes of invoicing.

Your consumption data

At nBS we take data security very seriously. We work with our meter manufacturers to make sure that the meters we install are secure. We use international encryption standards to transmit your meter data safely and securely and the meter will only accept commands sent by your supplier.

AMR meters are able to record readings on a monthly basis and at Half-Hourly (HH) intervals.

 

There are many licence obligations that cover the Smart rollout. Here are the most common that may be of interest:

  • Smart Meter Roll-out Obligation – taking all reasonable steps to complete our Smart deployment by the end of June 2021.
  • Data options – ensuring that data taken from AMR meters is in accordance with the data preferences of the customer. For more information visit the nBS privacy policy page.

For more information on the above visit the Ofgem website

You are free to change supplier in-line with your contractual terms. 

We will work with you to understand if we can support your meter and further feedback will be provided by your Sales Manager.

 

Ensure your account is up-to-date

It is important that you provide a meter reading before your meter is replaced with an AMR meter.

Submit your reading

Or call us on

0800 028 1341 to ensure your account is up-to-date.

Monday to Thursday from 8:30am to 5:30pm, Friday from 8:30am to 5:00pm.