The smart energy industry is full of terms that may not be familiar to all of us, but we want everyone to feel part of the smart energy revolution. Here are a few you may hear along your smart meter installation journey.
Smart meters are electronic devices which are connected to your electricity and/or gas supply and record your usage, communicating this with your supplier at a frequency that you choose. Smart meters allow both DD and prepay customer modes so that you have the flexibility to change of needed, without a physical meter exchange.
In-home display (IHD)
An In-home display (IHD) is the portable device with a large screen which wirelessly connects to your smart meter to provide near real time information such as your usage in £s.
Smart Pay As You Go (PAYG) is very beneficial to prepayment customers as you’ll be able to top up in more ways than a traditional meter via online methods and a larger selection of retail shops.
A standing charge is added to most energy bills. This charge covers the cost of supplying your property with gas and electricity such as meter maintenance and structural works.
A unit rate is the price-per-unit of gas and/or electricity that you use in your home. This is normally measured per kWh for electricity and converted to kWhs for gas.
An estimated reading is produced for an estimated bill if your energy supplier has not received a meter reading from you. This means your bill will not reflect your actual usage for that period.
A Kilowatt hour (kWh) is a measure of how much energy is used per hour.
SMETS1 meters were the first generation of smart meters which started being installed in 2013. They used 3G sim card technology to send readings to suppliers although they could become unreliable when switching suppliers. There is currently a nationwide re-enrolment programme which aims to fix this issue so that all suppliers can receive SMETS1 readings.
SMETS2 meters are the latest generation of smart meters which will not lose any capabilities when switching suppliers. They use a DCC network to communicate with your supplier which creates a more reliable connection than SMETS1 meters.
A wide area network (WAN) is a telecommunications network which extends over a large area. In the case of smart meters, this is across the UK.
A home area network (HAN) is the network in your home that links digital devices together so that they can communicate. This network is how your smart meter communicates energy usage information to your in-home display.
Three phase meter
A three phase meter is designed with three alternating currents supplying it so much more power can be used than with a standard meter. This type of meter is usually reserved for commercial uses but may be required at residential properties which have large additonal electricity connections such as solar panels.