British Gas Smart Meter Upgrade: What to Expect
British Gas has installed more than eight million smart meters across Great Britain. Learn about the benefits of having a smart meter and find out how to get one today.
What are the advantages of a British Gas smart meter?
Are you considering getting a British Gas smart meter? Let's have a look at some of the benefits of having one.
- You no longer need to submit meter readings. The smart meter will do this automatically.
- Your energy bills will be accurate, rather than estimated.
- You can see how much energy your household consumes in near real-time.
- You can keep track of how much money you're spending on energy.
A British Gas smart meter also comes with an in-home display (IHD), which British Gas calls a smart energy monitor. This digital device shows how much energy you're using in near real-time, as well as how much it's costing. The monitor is small, about the size of a 5” x 7” photo frame, and you can put it wherever you want in your house.
Can I get a British Gas smart meter?
To get a British Gas smart meter, you'll need to be a British Gas energy customer. HomeCare customers are not eligible for British Gas smart meters unless they also have their energy supply with the provider. If you're not an energy customer, you'll need to switch your supply in order to get a British Gas smart meter.
For British Gas customers, switching from a standard meter to a smart meter is straightforward. You can make an appointment for an installation either via your online account or by calling British Gas. You'll likely have to wait a few weeks for the appointment to take place.
Are smart meters free with British Gas?
As part of the government’s smart meter rollout, British Gas smart meters are free to install. You won’t have to pay any fees upfront for the smart meter. They’re actually paid for through everyone’s energy bills. Having a smart meter won’t cost you any more than your standard, old-style meter.
Can I change my prepayment meter to a British Gas smart meter?
You certainly can! Just because you're on a prepayment tariff and have a standard pay-as-you-go meter doesn’t mean you can’t have a smart meter. With a smart meter, you’ll get all the benefits of being able to see your energy consumption and spend, as well as see how much credit you have remaining.
Prepayment customers can also top up online, via the app or over the phone. This means you'll no longer have to go to the shop to top up your meter!
British gas smart meter compatibility: Are they SMETS2?
British Gas is currently rolling out SMETS2 smart meters, the second generation of smart meters. Unlike the first generation of smart meters (SMETS1), these meters are interoperable among all energy suppliers. You will no longer have to worry about your smart meter losing its ‘smart’ functionality if you change to a different supplier.
If you have a smart meter that was installed prior to Summer 2019, it is most likely a first-generation smart meter. These meters are being gradually enrolled into the Data Communications Company (DCC), which will finally make them compatible with all energy suppliers.
British Gas hopes for all first-generation smart meters to be enrolled in the DCC by the end of 2021.
British Gas smart meter installation: What to expect
Once you’ve booked your British Gas smart meter installation, the supplier will send you a confirmation, as well as a reminder closer to the time of the appointment.
To prepare for the British Gas smart meter installation, you should make sure that the space around your meters is cleared so that the engineer has enough room to work. If your meters are located in a locked area, you should make sure that you have the keys on the day of the smart meter installation.
Someone over the age of 18 will need to be present at the property on the day of the installation for the entirety of the time. It should take no more than two hours for the British Gas smart meter installation to be completed.
The day of the British Gas smart meter installation will go as follows:
- You will be informed when the engineer is on his/her way.
- When the engineer arrives, he/she will present an ID.
- The engineer will run a few safety checks and turn off your power supply. The supply will be off for around 20 minutes per meter. You should let British Gas know before the appointment takes place if this will be an issue.
- The new smart meter(s) will be installed.
- You will be given your new smart energy monitor and shown how to use it.
British Gas smart meter problems: Help & FAQs
As with any appliance or gadget, every now and again you might run into a problem with your British Gas smart meter. Let's have a look at some common smart meter problems and how to solve them.
Why is my British Gas smart meter not connecting?
If your in-home display isn’t showing your energy consumption, there is likely an issue with its connection to the smart meter. Follow the following steps to reset the monitor and fix the connection issue:
- Unplug the monitor
- Move it closer to the meter
- Plug the monitor back in
- Wait one week (the monitor should automatically restart within seven days)
If your smart meter is still not connecting to the monitor after one week, you should get in touch with the supplier.
What does a red triangle on my smart meter mean?
There is no need to fret if you see a red or orange triangle on your smart energy monitor. This just means that you have unread alerts from British Gas. This is mostly to happen when reconnecting your smart meter to the monitor after it has been disconnected.
To read or clear the alerts, select Menu in the bottom right corner of the screen. Then use the arrow button to select Alerts. You can then use the arrow button again to select the alert you want to read. To delete the alert, click on Delete at the bottom of the screen. When you return to the home screen, you’ll see that the triangle is no longer there.
Why is my British Gas smart meter not working?
If the actual British Gas smart meter is not working, you will need to contact the supplier. British Gas may need to send an engineer out to fix the meter.
If it's your energy monitor that has stopped working, you should first check that the power cable is correctly plugged into the device, as well as that the power supply is switched on at the wall.
If this doesn’t fix the issue, try inserting new batteries into the smart meter monitor. If this solves the problem, then the issue is with your cable. If it doesn’t work, then the issue is with the monitor. You should then contact British Gas for advice on what to do next.
Why has my British Gas smart meter lost its network connection?
If you have a first-generation British Gas smart meter (SMETS1), it may lose its network connection if you switch to a different supplier. This means that your smart meter will lose its smart functionally and work like a traditional standard meter. In this case, you would need to submit your meter readings manually.
Fortunately, it is now possible to reconnect these first-generation smart meters to the network in order to have the smart functions restored. The Data and Communications Company (DCC) provides a shared smart metering infrastructure for such services.
The DCC controls timings for enrolment in the system. British Gas anticipates all of its smart meters to be enrolled by the end of 2021.
British Gas smart meter app
If you have a British Gas smart meter, we recommend downloading the supplier’s app. With the British Gas app, customers with smart meters can do the following:
- See how much energy you are using.
- Set targets and alerts to help you control your spending.
- Get tailored insights on which parts of your home use the most energy.
- Top up your meter (for prepayment customers).
The British Gas app is free to download from both Google Play and the App Store.
British Gas smart meter contact
For any queries related to your smart meter, you can contact British Gas by calling 0333 202 9802 and selecting Option 1. Representatives are available Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
You will listen to an automated recording that asks for your reason for calling. You can simply just say ‘smart meter' to be transferred in the direction of the correct department. You will then need to enter your customer reference number. It starts with 85.
Is it worth getting a British Gas smart meter?
Considering the benefits of automatic meter readings, accurate bills and the ability to track your energy consumption in real-time, it's definitely worth getting a smart meter. However, you may also be able to get the same smart meter from a different supplier that offers cheaper tariffs, so we would always recommend shopping around.