The Start of Smart: An Update on Our SMETS2 Rollout

Last month we brought you the exciting news that Igloo has been selected as one of the first UK energy companies to kick-start the DCC migration for SMETS1 meters.

Well, following some industry-wide delays that pushed back the launch of our smart meters, we’re pleased to confirm the first few of our SMETS2 smart meters are now successfully installed in our customers’ homes.

(Cue rapturous applause).

Yes, after a (not so brief) delay in SMETS2 meters making their way into the energy market, we couldn’t be happier to finally be in a position to begin sharing this technology with our Igloo customers.

So what, you may ask, is just so great about SMETS2 meters?

We get it; smart meters are nothing new in Britain, but unlike the first wave introduced, these new meters have some key differences to their predecessors.

Gone is the ability for the meter to be read only by the original supplier that installed it (one of the main sticking points of SMETS1). With SMETS2 it doesn’t matter if you decide to switch energy suppliers down the line, your new provider will still be able to collect automatic readings from your meter, even if another company installed it.

That’s another great thing about SMETS2 meters – you won’t have to take manual gas and electricity readings any longer either. SMETS2 meters allow us to collect your meter readings remotely so you never have to worry about sending us a reading each month.

Going forward, the process will be entirely automated, so even if you’re out of the country enjoying a nice Pina Colada in the sun (and who could blame you) we’ll still be able to get an accurate meter reading in your absence.

Which brings us nicely onto our next benefit – no more estimated bills. So long as you have a SMETS2 smart meter installed your energy supplier will always be able to calculate your gas and electricity usage to the exact unit. Negating the need for any guesswork and meaning you only pay for the energy you consume, not a penny more.

So how exactly do these new SMETS2 meters function?

The key difference between SMETS1 meters and the new SMETS2 generation is the technology that powers it. While the first wave of smart meters relied on a SIM card (similar to a phone) SMETS2 meters are networked to something called the DCC.

We go into more detail about the DCC in our previous blog, but in a nutshell, DCC stands for Data Communications Company, a new smart meter communications infrastructure that links energy suppliers to smart meters via a secure wireless network.

Is there just one type of SMETS2 meter?

Nope, a bit like cars, SMETS2 smart meters come in a range of brands and models, and we’ve tested a number of different meter types to ensure our customers only receive (what we think) is the best on the market (another little perk of being with Igloo).

Alongside the meter (or meters if you’re a dual fuel customer) you’ll also receive a brand new touchscreen Hildebrand IHD (In Home Display), which will show you your energy usage in real time.

The amount you’ve used will be displayed as both a monetary and kilowatt value, so you can keep tabs on your consumption and outgoings over a set time period (day, week, month or year) – helping you better understand how much electricity and gas you use in your home.

A photo of our in-home display

I’m sold! How do I get a SMETS2 meter?

Now we’ve completed the first phase of installations, we’re finally in a position to start rolling out SMETS2 meters nationwide. This will involve our engineers visiting your home, and should take no more than just a couple of hours, by which point your meter will be fully synced and ready to go.

The plan is to get customers in the Southern region online first, to allow us to be doubly sure that everything is operating as intended, before we begin the wider nationwide rollout.

We’ll be in touch to let you know when we’ll be in your area, so rest assured you’ll have plenty of time to prepare for our engineers’ arrival.

The good news is the rollout has already started, so it’s only a matter of time before your home will be fitted with its very own SMETS2 meter. In the meantime, your energy billing will continue as normal, so there’s no need to do anything until you hear from us.

As always, we’ll continue to keep you updated with the rollout (and any other news) as it happens, including alerting you to when our engineers are in town.

For the time being, that’s all we can tell you about SMETS2 integration, but stay tuned to our blog, or follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, for the latest energy related news and Igloo updates.