FAQs - Safety and security
- Are smart meters safe?
Yes, smart meters are safe. They're covered by strict UK and EU product safety laws. These ensure that smart meters all have the same high quality and safety standards, regardless of your energy supplier. Working with government, the energy industry has committed to ensuring the highest health and safety standards during the smart meter rollout including strong systems to make sure any issues are identified and dealt with swiftly. If you have any concerns about your smart or traditional meter you should contact your supplier directly. If you smell gas you should call the national gas emergency number 0800 111 999 immediately.
- How secure are smart meters?
Security has been at the heart of the whole smart meter rollout programme from its very inception, and the system has been specifically designed to prevent hacking. Smart meters do not use the internet, and they have their own closed, dedicated communications system. Smart meters have been designed with top cyber security experts, including the government and GCHQ, to ensure that security best practice has been incorporated at every stage.
- Could a smart meter impact my health?
No. Public Health England sees no risk or dangers to health from smart meters. The smart meters used in Britain have undergone one of the most rigorous smart safety testing regimes in the world and exceed every UK and EU safety standard. Public Health England, the government's agency on public health, has said that exposure to radio waves from smart meters is many times lower than the exposure from Wi-Fi and mobile phones and is well within guideline levels.
For more information, visit smart meters and your health: the truth.
- How is my personal data kept safe when I have a smart meter?
Personal information such as your name, address and bank details are not stored on your smart meter. The meters simply record your gas and electricity readings in the same way as your traditional meter. The meter readings collected can only be shared with your energy supplier to allow them to prepare an accurate bill and they cannot share this without your permission. The data is transmitted safely, using a dedicated and secure wireless network. All this information about your energy use is strongly protected. Depending on what you've agreed with your energy supplier, your smart meter will share half-hourly, daily or in some cases, monthly meter readings. You can change your preference at any point by getting in contact with your supplier directly.
If you have given them permission to do so, your energy supplier may also use this information to offer you tailored energy efficiency advice and improve the service they provide for you.
Sources of Help
Smart Energy GB is the consumer engagement campaign for the smart meter rollout. We want to help everyone understand smart meters and the benefits they bring to households and the environment.
We're not an energy supplier and we don't make or fit smart meters, and we’re not the technical authority of the smart meter rollout.
We also don’t have any regulatory authority so we’re unable to intervene in any individual customer's dialogue with their energy supplier about the service they have received.
Who should I contact if I need help?
If you have an issue with booking your smart meter installation, your installation experience or an issue with your smart meter please contact your energy supplier.
Don't know your energy supplier? For your gas supplier, visit Find My Supplier or call 0870 608 1524. For electricity, visit uSwitch for the number to call to find your energy supplier in your region.
(Charges may apply.)
If you believe that your energy supplier has not met its obligations, Citizens Advice may be able to assist you. Government has given a formal role to Citizens Advice to monitor and advise it on issues relating to customer experiences and energy supplier service. They can be contacted via their website, here or via the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06.
If you’d like to find out more about the roles and responsibilities of the organisations involved with the smart meter rollout, including the Data Communications Company (DCC) which is responsible for establishing and managing the new smart meter network, see our website, here.