The Truth About Smart Meters – Debunking Common Myths

The Truth About Smart Meters – Debunking Common Myths

The UK Government wants energy suppliers to install smart meters in all businesses and homes by the end of June 2025. This is part of its effort to reduce the amount of energy used in the country and to help Britain reach net zero by 2050.

With the rise in the number of smart meters being installed, there has also been an increase in the number of myths about them.

If you’re thinking about making the switch to a smart meter, you’re in the right place!

So, let’s separate fact from fiction as we debunk some common myths about smart meters in this blog post.

Myth: I’ll need to pay to have a smart meter installed

The installation of smart meters is free.

You won’t have to pay a penny for an engineer to visit your business to replace your old meter with a smart meter, and the process is straightforward. Installation takes less than an hour, so you’ll be up and running in no time, though you should note your power may be off for around 20-30 minutes during the installation process.

Myth: My personal data is not secure

Your data is secure. Smart meters have a security system developed by leading experts in the industry and the government, including GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre.

Smart meters only measure your electricity or gas use, and the data smart meters capture is protected by law. Smart meters do not record, collect or store any personal data, such as your name, address and bank account details.

We protect any customer data we collect and only use it for limited purposes.

Myth: Smart meters don’t save money

According to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, it is estimated that smart meters will take £300 million off consumers’ bills in 2020, rising to more than £1.2 billion per year by 2030.

Smart meters mean you won’t have to worry about estimated bills.

By knowing how much energy is being used each month, you can make informed decisions about how to and your overall carbon emissions.

Myth: Smart meters can damage your health

Smart meters are safe.

The UK has strict product safety laws, and the energy industry has committed to ensuring smart meters meet the highest health and safety standards during the smart meter rollout. This means, regardless of your energy supplier, there are systems in place to make sure any issues with smart meters are identified and dealt with swiftly.

Myth:  Smart meters need the internet to work

No, smart meters do not rely on the internet for them to work.

Smart meters send readings to your energy supplier via a secure, dedicated network. This network is separate from your Wi-Fi. The information sent to your supplier is encrypted, in the same way that your mobile phone sends and receives information.

Myth: I still need to submit meter readings  

With a smart meter you no longer need to submit meter readings. Smart meters send automatic meter readings to us monthly via a secure data network.

This removes the hassle of a manual meter reading process and ensures you receive bills that reflect your usage first time, allowing you to spend more time on your business.

(There can sometimes be a short delay before we get automated readings and we might occasionally ask for meter readings to check that your meter is working correctly or so we can arrange for an engineer to conduct maintenance work.)

Myth: Smart meters are not good for the environment  

A smart meter can help businesses track how much energy they’re consuming and learn how to conserve the amount of energy they use. The more efficiently businesses use their energy, the more it benefits the environment.

According to Smart Energy GB, if everyone has a smart meter, we could reduce carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to the savings made by around 70 million trees. That’s a lot of trees!

Businesses can use their smart meters to reduce electricity usage during peak periods when electricity is most expensive; doing so will help reduce our reliance on additional power stations and ultimately help the UK achieve its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

Myth: I rent a property, so I won’t be able to get a smart meter

If you’re the energy account holder and you pay the energy bills, not your landlord, then you can get a smart meter.

The energy regulator, Ofgem, has said that if your tenancy agreement says you need your landlord’s permission to alter the electricity meter at your property, they should not stop you without a good reason.

Just to make sure, we recommend you check this with your landlord. Your tenancy agreement may have details about how electricity and gas are supplied to the property.

Should I get a smart meter?

We’ve busted some of the most common myths about smart meters.  Switching to a smart meter can help you save time, money, and carbon emissions. If you don’t have one already, there’s never been a better time to book an installation.

The UK’s smart meter rollout is already well underway, with 28.8 million meters installed in small businesses and homes. There are many benefits you can experience from having a smart meter installed in your business:

Call us on 0161 946 4444 to book your free smart meter installation, or click here to fill in an online request form

Still unsure? Find out more information on how smart meters work and the benefits it can bring to your energy usage here.

Six ways to cut your business energy bill

Six ways to cut your business energy bill


With energy prices rising, there’s never been a better time to look at your business and see where you can save energy and save money.

A few simple tweaks to your premises and your behaviour can save you £££s on your energy bills.

Here are six of the best from Unicom:


Turn off your equipment and lights

Taking a few moments to ensure you switch off your lights, computers and other equipment when you leave your premises at night can save you a lot of money in the long run.

Statistics show that if you leave your office lights on overnight, each year you use enough energy to heat a home for 5 months!

Another way to ensure you keep energy usage to a minimum is to set up ‘sleep mode’ in your computer’s preferences. By setting a ten-minute screen delay you can save some serious energy. Sleep mode only uses a few watts, unlike screensavers, which use almost the same amount of energy as your computer monitor in full use.

Make sure you don’t leave other equipment and devices around your business on standby, as lots of small energy costs quickly add up to a higher bill.


Install LED bulbs

Energy efficient lighting helps to lower electricity bills and carbon emissions. While the initial outlay will set you back, you’ll quickly recoup that investment in energy saved. Plus, LED bulbs last longer than traditional bulbs, so you’ll also save on maintenance costs.

You can save £2-3 per year for every traditional halogen bulb you switch to a similarly bright LED bulb or up to £7 per 100 watt incandescent bulb.


Get a smart meter

Having a smart meter means your bills will always reflect your actual usage.

This can help you to understand your energy usage and reduce waste, which is great both for your pocket and for the environment. On a national and global level these savings could amount to a significant reduction in overall carbon emissions, which can only be a good thing!

If you’re a Unicom customer and you opt in we’ll arrange to install the latest smart meter at your premises, free of charge.

Opt in for a free a smart meter 


Only boil the water you need

It’s an old one but it’s a big one – taking care over how much water you and your employees are heating up when you take a tea break can save you some serious energy.

If you boil more water than you need, then all that boiling water that isn’t used represents nothing but wasted energy and wasted money.

Research suggests that the average UK kettle boiler fills up their appliance with twice as much water as they need.


Take control of your heating

A significant percentage of the money we spend on energy in the UK goes on heating and hot water.

Simply turning down your room thermostat by just one degree can save around £55 a year and reduce your carbon footprint by 300kg – that’s equivalent to driving 754 miles in an average petrol car. If your premises is larger than average you could save even more.


Draught-proof your premises

Unless you’re in brand-new premises, it’s likely that you’re losing heat through draughts around your doors, windows, gaps in the floor or even through your chimney! These draughts make heating your home more expensive as more energy is required to heat your premises.

You can spend money on professional draught proofing if you’ve got a serious issue with draughts at your premises, but there are a number of DIY solutions you can try yourself if you have a troublesome door or window that’s letting in cold air. Try a draught excluder on doors, fit flaps or brushes on letterboxes and use foam, metal or plastic draught strips on windows.