Common Smart Meter Problems and How to Fix Them

Smart meters are all the rage currently – it seems like everyone that can get on the queue is getting one. And for a good reason –  when the smart meter is installed and set up correctly you can monitor your gas and electricity usage and make conscious decisions on how to use it economically.

However smart meters can be a bit of a mystery with all their letters, codes and numbers. And if you’ve ended up with your in-home display (IHD) not showing anything or your bills coming through with estimates then you could use some help.

Below are the most common smart meter problems and easy ways you can fix them and get your bills back on track.

Smart Meter Losing Its Smarts When You Switch Supplier

One of the biggest issue with smart meters has been the meters’ inability to always handle supplier transition smoothly. Especially if it’s a first generation smart meter (SMETS1) – these are normally meters installed before or around 2018. 

Generally when you switch supplier it’s a good practice to send some manual readings and you might continue to have to do so until your smart meter is upgraded to SMETS2 All SMETS2 meters will be remotely upgraded by the Data Communications Company (DCC) – which is also responsible for protecting your data. You don’t need to contact them or do anything, this is an automated process and your new energy supplier will let you know when they start receiving readings.

Getting Estimated Bills With a Smart Meter

Wasn’t the whole point of getting a smart meter installed to get accurate bills and never have to submit another reading again? Right… and wrong! Unfortunately, sometimes getting estimated gas and electricity bills might mean that your smart meter is not connecting properly or if you just got a new one – there might not be enough information on the system yet. 

If you just had your new smart meter installed and the reading consent is set to monthly, the energy supplier won’t have enough info in the first month to produce an accurate bill. You should start getting bills with accurate readings in a few days.

However, it can also be an issue of a “non-communicating” smart meter. It could be due to the electricity meter being in a cupboard or cellar, preventing connectivity. If it’s just the gas meter sending readings, it might be due to your gas meter not getting through to your electricity meter (via your Home Area Network or HAN). The usual suspects are thick walls in between or the meters being too far apart. This should be avoided by the installer, but eventually your meter might need to be moved to resolve this problem.

Smart Meter “ Waiting for Current Data”

If your smart meter is showing a “waiting for current data” message this is usually an indicator of connectivity issues between your In-Home Display (IHD) and smart meter. The first step you can take is to move your IHD closer to the electricity meter. 

If that doesn’t work, you know the classic -switch it on and off, this might as well solve the problem.

If these two simple remedies don’t help you might be having a more serious issue, with the meter not being on the Home Area Network (HAN), which would prevent the devices from connecting to it. Or there might be a hardware issue with the meter or IHD. Usually for these two issues you need to contact your supplier. 

No Electricity or Gas After Smart Meter Installation

 You might be quick to call Rightio when your radiators are cold or the lamps are not working (and we wouldn’t blame you!) but if you just had a smart meter installation, you might want to check the meters first. 

If the electricity is off, check that the isolation switch next to your smart elec meter is “on”. It’s a bright red switch, and, of course, if you find that it’s in the “off” position, make sure to flick it. 

If your electric smart meter is on but the display is blank, try to restart it by pressing B on the keyboard. If the display stays off, there might be a power cut in the area. Quickest check – have your neighbours been affected as well. Once you’ve confirmed the meter is on, and the display is working and there is no power cut but your home is still without power, you need to call your energy supplier.

If your gas supply is off, and you have a gas boiler, you need to double check if all your gas appliances are without gas or just the boiler. Easiest way to do that is to check if your gas oven is working. If it’s working, and the fault’s just with the boiler, your suspect might be the electric supply. Check that the mains electricity switch is on and that the pilot light is on as well. 

If all appliances are not working, check your Emergency Control Valve (ECV). This is normally located just before the gas meter. If the lever is at an angle to the pipe, then your gas supply is shut and that’s why you’re in the cold. But if the lever is in line with the pipe, meaning that the gas is flowing and your appliances are still not working, you need to give your supplier a call.

The In-Home Display Only Shows Gas or Electricity Reading

Don’t stress, this might be an easy fix. Press the on/off switch and disconnect the charger to reset the IHD. Then plug it all back, hold the switch and wait for it to reconnect. This should usually fix the issue.

If your IDH continues to show just one or is otherwise not showing readings or shows error messages, your supplier should be able to replace it.

First, try resetting the IHD to see if that fixes the problem. To do that, press the on/off switch and disconnect the charger. Then hold the on/off switch down for a few seconds while reconnecting the charger. Hopefully the IHD will reconnect to both meters after a minute or two.

boiler thermostat on white wall
close up of fuse box
electrician inspecting plug socket