Transforming the UK’s energy infrastructure

The move to 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.

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.

The Smart mandate is not restricted to Smart meters alone – it also includes Automated Meter Reading (AMR) meters.

For microbusiness customers, the choice is whether they wish to accept a Smart meter. However, non-micro business consumers can choose between having a Smart meter installed or an AMR meter for their meter replacement.*
*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.
 

Register your interest now

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

Alternatively, you can call us on 0800 316 0142

Our team is here to help Tuesday 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 metering types (profile class 1-8 and HH settled)

• 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. Whilst other suppliers may be able to support SMETS1 with interoperability, nBS will not support SMETS1 meters installed by other suppliers. Within nBS, should we gain a customer with a SMETS1 meter, we will treat it in the same way as a traditional meter until we can install a SMETS2 meter.

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.
 

Ultimately, non-micro business customers have the choice between meters and our table below details the features of both meter types on offer.

Feature SMETS2 Smart meter AMR meter
Records consumption at half hourly intervals? Yes Yes
Remotely sends meter readings back to the supplier? Yes Yes
Used for all metering types? Non-CT metered sites and small gas meters (use on profile class 1-4 power supplies and gas supplies with an annual consumption of =< 732,000 kWh) 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).
(Meter variant not currently available and under development) Yes
Records meter readings daily? Yes Yes
Stores half hourly 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 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? From 2020 Yes
Enhanced energy management opportunities? Yes Yes

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.

 

You qualify to have a Smart or an AMR 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.

If you have profile class 5-8 meters

Originally these meters were covered by the AMR meter upgrade, which mandated that all customers with meters in profile classes 5-8 should have an AMR solution installed by April 2014.

Later, suppliers were required to move customers with a profile class 5-8 electricity AMR meter to HH settlement by April 2017. The aim of this was to facilitate a more detailed view of electricity usage.

Meters in profile class 5-8 are not included within the current Smart meter mandate.

 
  • 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
  • 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 a Smart or 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 and gas will need to be switched off for 30-45 minutes each

Our plan for installing Smart meters

As part of our deployment plan we will be installing Smart meters in stages throughout 2020 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 a Smart meter at your premises.

Alternatively, non-micro business customers can choose to have an AMR meter installed, which, at this time, we are able to support and manage.

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

 

We will remotely collect a reading from your Smart or AMR meter once a month unless instructed otherwise, in-line with data choices (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.

Both AMR and Smart meters are able to record readings on a daily basis and at Half-Hourly 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 – ensuring we complete our Smart deployment by the end of 2020.
  • Smart Meter Installation Code of Practice (SMICoP) – ensuring that we install our meters in a customer-centric method (this covers micro business customers). You can find out more by downloading the smicop.
  • Smart Energy Code (SEC) – ensuring the security of customers’ Smart data via the Data Communications Company (DCC), (the organisation that manages the Smart communications network). For more information visit nBS-ofgem-sec
  • Data options – ensuring that data taken from Smart meters is in accordance with the data choices obtained from the customer. For more information visit nBS-privacy-policy

For more detail on the above visit the Ofgem website

You are free to change supplier in-line with your contractual terms. If you have had a Smart or AMR meter installed by your previous supplier, we will try to support all of its functions. However, if for any reason we are unable to, we will treat it as a traditional credit meter until we are in a position to supply you with a SMETS2 Smart or AMR meter. This provides full interoperability, allowing you to change supplier and not lose the functionality of your Smart or AMR meter.*

*Dependent on the supplier being able to support the metering technology and for SMETS2 Smart meters there is a dependency on the meter being enrolled onto the DCC.
 

Ensure your account is up-to-date

It is important that you provide a meter reading before your meter is replaced with a Smart or 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.