Smart meter myth-busting
By 2020, every home in Great Britain will be offered a smart meter installation. It’s all part of a Government-led upgrade to the nation’s ageing energy system, and these meters will make your life easier. Smart meters will help customers keep track of how much they spend on energy thanks to an easy-to-read smart energy monitor that shows energy usage in near real-time. Smart meters also send meter readings automatically to your energy supplier, so no more scrambling under the stairs to find your meters.
Millions of people already have smart meters, but there are some myths out there doing the rounds that smart meters are dangerous, not secure or even cause fires, so it’s time to share some crucial facts.
Fact - Your smart meters won’t spy on you
Concerns have been raised that smart meters spy on customer activities, but smart meters are similar to traditional meters, so there’s nothing to worry about. Information is never transmitted to third-parties for marketing, and you can choose how frequently you share smart meter reads with us – half-hourly, daily, or monthly. For half-hourly and daily reads this data will be collected and sent to us once a day at most. No personal information is transmitted, just your energy usage to allow us to provide you with accurate bills and great service.
Fact - Smart meters can’t be hacked
Smart meters use super secure communications networks. They use encryption methods like those used in internet banking so your meter readings remain safe and secure.
Fact – smart meters won’t damage your health
There’s no evidence to suggest that radio waves emitted from smart meters will damage your health. A Public Health England study published in March 2017 suggested exposure to radio waves from smart meters is below international guidelines. Plus, exposure from smart meters is expected to be less than mobile phones or Wi-Fi so you can rest easy.
Fact - Your energy data will not be sold to third parties
Data collected from your smart meters will be used to calculate your energy bill. We never sell it to marketing companies. The only time data may be passed on from us is if we are required to share it by law or regulation with the government or other networks involved in delivering energy to your home. So sit back, relax, and enjoy your hassle-free data collection.
Fact - Smart meters do not cause gas leaks or fires
It’s extremely unlikely that your smart meters will cause a fire or a gas leak. Our smart energy experts are trained professionals and you can be confident in their ability to install meters, diagnose faults and make repairs where required. They go through extensive training and receive ongoing support to provide you with a great service. Any type of gas or electrical equipment or appliance has some limited risk potentially due to faulty connections, failed components, or poor maintenance. Safety is British Gas’s number one priority and is central to everything we do for our customers.
Fact – You can still change energy supplier if you have smart meters
Having smart meters does not stop you from being able to change supplier. You are advised if you will keep or temporarily lose your smart meter benefits at the time of switching, and can make an informed choice about whether you still want to switch. In the future, the plan is for all smart meters to continue to work with full functionality when you switch supplier. In the meantime ask your energy supplier if you can retain your smart meter benefits.