If you’re thinking about getting a smart meter, you may have some questions about smart meter data security. It’s natural to have concerns about anything that collects and transmits information. You can rest assured that smart meters only store and send data about your energy usage that is necessary for us to process your bill, via a specially built secure network. 

What data do smart meters store?

Smart meters don’t store as much data as you might think, as they don’t hold any personal information. Their sole purpose is to monitor your energy usage, so the only information they need to store is the amount of gas and electricity you’ve used and whether you’re on a single or multi-rate tariff.

How often do smart meters transmit data?

Smart meters automatically send meter readings to your energy supplier as frequently as you choose. We will collect readings daily as standard, but you can choose for your smart meter to send your readings half hourly, weekly or monthly instead.

How is your data kept safe with a smart meter?

The data sent to us by your smart meter is not just sent over the internet but is instead sent via their own secure communication system, which is similar to those used in banks. Everything is encrypted to a high standard, with the system specifically designed with input from GCHQ to prevent hacking. Only you and your energy supplier can view the information, and no one has access to the system without your permission.

The smart meter network is managed by the Data Communications Company

Engineer installing a smart meter.

What rights do you have over your smart meter data?

There are laws in the UK that put very strict controls on your data, how it can be shared and who can access it. You get to decide how often your smart meter sends data to your supplier, whether your energy usage data can be shared with other organisations, and if your supplier can use your meter readings for sales and marketing purposes. If you don’t give permission for your information to be used in this way or shared with third parties, then it will just be kept with your energy supplier to generate your bill.

All of your data is handled according to guidelines set out by the energy industry. If you have any concerns about this, you can find out more in our smart meter data guide or by reading our privacy policy.

Visit our smart pages for more information about getting a smart meter.