Smart Meters & Automated Meter Readings (AMRs)

Need more help?

If you still require assistance or would like to speak to a member of the team, please call us on 0161 837 3395.
Call centre currently closed

Keeping track of energy usage and expenditure is important to businesses across sectors and different sizes, emphasising the importance of accurate metering and tracking.

Having a smart device, such as a smart meter or Automated Meter Readings (AMR) device, in place could have an impact on your company's energy efficiency and bottom lines. We’ve captured everything you need to know about smart devices below.

For a more detailed overview of both smart meters and AMRs, check out our resource: What is the difference between AMR devices and smart meters?

What is the difference between an AMR and a Smart Meter?

Smart meters explained

Smart meters are the next generation of gas and electricity meters. They measure your energy usage and use a secure, wireless network to send meter readings to your energy supplier each month. 

As part of the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy to create a smarter, more energy-efficient grid, we’re rolling out smart meters to eligible business customers who are small energy consumers and want to know how much energy they’re using.

Automated Meter Readings (AMRs) explained

An Automated Meter Reading (AMR) device takes meter readings and automatically sends us the data. We then use this data to calculate your bills based on your actual use. They’re similar to smart meters you’d find in your home or in a small business, except they don’t have a visual display. They are most frequently used for large businesses with high energy consumption.

Benefits of having smart device installed

Smart devices offer a range of benefits:

  • Automated meter readings – no need to submit your read to us each month or have an engineer visit your site to take the reading for you. Your smart device sends the information to us directly.
  • Access up to 12 months free historical consumption data on request – Make smart choices about your business energy using historical data captured by your smart device.
  • More accurate bills – you can say goodbye to estimated meter readings. All your bills are accurate, calculated using your actual energy usage.
  • No extra cost – in most cases, we don’t charge a penny for installation.

Accessing meter data

Your monthly invoice will always show the amount of energy you consumed in that month, and you can access a particular month’s meter data at any time free through our customer portal, My SEFE Energy.

To make better decisions about your ongoing energy use, it may also be helpful to have access to detailed historical data captured by your smart device over a period of time.

At My SEFE Energy, you can access up to 12 months of free smart device data at the click of a button. Just log into My SEFE Energy, select your account and site details, navigate to the ‘AMR and Smart Metering’ tab and click ‘Download report’.

Please note: there may be some instances where meter data is unavailable for download via the customer portal – for example:

  • If you’ve recently switched to SEFE Energy and your smart meter or AMR has not yet been appointed to us
  • If you don’t yet have a smart meter or AMR installed
  • If there are issues with your smart meter or AMR, preventing reads from being received
  • If for any other reason we are not receiving reads from your smart meter or AMR

If you have difficulty downloading your data or if you are concerned that your data may be incorrect, please contact us and the team will investigate the issue.

How can I nominate a third party to access my free meter data?

At SEFE Energy we know how important it is to safeguard your information and data. If you wish to nominate a third party to access up to 12 months of free smart meter data, we will need a signed Letter of Authority (LOA), from you confirming this.

Here is an example you could download: Letter of Authority. Email your completed LOA to enquiries@sefe-energy.com and we’ll validate and confirm your request.

SEFE Energy’s smart meter installation targets

Since January 2022, suppliers must comply with a new regulatory framework for the rollout of smart meters as confirmed by Department for Energy Security & Net Zero (DESNZ),  which includes publishing our targets and performance for each rollout year. 

Request a smart device installation

We work with a specialist smart meter company called Energy Assets for smart meter installation. If you’d like to have a smart meter installed in your business, click the button below to opt-in or out and they’ll be in touch to arrange a visit to your property. 

Please note, for large businesses we will install an AMR – get in touch with us on the below and we'll arrange an installation.

Smart Meter - opt in/out

Common Questions Smart Meter & AMR FAQs

Our FAQs provide answers to commonly asked questions about who we are, what we do, our products, and how we work.

How safe is a smart meter?

Smart meters are covered under UK and EU product safety legislation, which requires manufacturers to ensure that any product placed on the market is safe.

Public Health England provides advice and information on the health implications of smart meters, as it does for a range of technologies commonly found in homes and businesses across the UK. Further information about smart meters and health can be found on the Public Health England website.

Is my smart meter data secure?

We’re committed to keeping customer information secure so that all of your data is fully protected.

Your information is only accessed when necessary, by those who need to see it and to provide you with the services you have asked for. Further to this, all our staff members are trained on data protection and follow strict data protection guidelines.

How accurate are smart meter readings?

Smart meters send meter readings to your energy supplier each month, your bills are therefore calculated using your actual meter readings instead of an estimate. We will sometimes email you to request a meter reading, even if you have a smart meter installed. This is to ensure the meter reading we receive can be checked to ensure they remain accurate so that you’re only billed to your actual usage.

What do we do with your smart meter readings?

Smart meter readings are the most up-to-date and accurate way to capture energy usage on a regular basis, without relying on time-consuming manual reads. We use this data to calculate your monthly energy bills so we can ensure you’re being charged based on your actual energy usage. Your data is secure with us – our team is trained in data protection, and we do not sell consumption data to third parties for any reason. Only you, or an individual nominated by you directly, will have access to this data through our online portal.

Will I receive an in-home display unit with a smart meter installation?

Unfortunately, an in-home display option isn’t provided for business energy customers.

Will my smart meter still work when I transfer to SEFE Energy?

If you have a first-generation smart meter, also known as a SMETS1 meter, it will carry on recording your energy use, but it might not send us your data. This will continue until The Data Communication Company (DCC) migrates your Smart meter, which can take several weeks.

I have an AMR / smart meter fitted. Why is my gas / electricity being billed to estimations?

Now that you have a smart device fitted to your meter, we should receive actual readings from the meter at the end of each month. These are then used to calculate your monthly invoices.

In some instances, we may still need to use estimations. Such as:

  • Very occasionally it is not possible to make contact with the meter and obtain a read, typically due to mobile network signal problems. To minimise this issue, please also make sure that you move any items that may block the signal from the meter. In the meantime, you’ll be able to give us your meter readings online to ensure accurate billing via the My SEFE Energy portal. To avoid delays to your invoices, SEFE Energy will produce an invoice based on an estimated read in this instance. We will then work with our metering partners to confirm that the issue preventing contact with the meter has been resolved so we can collect actual reads in future.

  • When a bill has been created before or around the time your meter was installed, it will show an estimate. Once our system fully updates with your new smart meter details, all future bills will be based on accurate readings.
I would like to have a smart meter installed. How do I get one?

If you’ve already received a letter or email from SEFE Energy offering you a smart meter, all you need to do is contact us 0161 837 3392 to progress.

Alternatively, you can contact smartmetering@sefe-energy.com or opt-in using the link on the email you’ve been sent.

If you haven’t yet received a communication from us, you can register your interest here.

Following this, we’ll pass your details on to our smart meter providers, who will contact you to arrange an installation date.

I have an appointment to have a Smart Meter installed. How do I change it?

If you need to change your smart meter installation appointment, please contact us on 0161 837 3392 or email smartmetering@sefe-energy.com, and we’ll arrange a new installation date with our smart meter provider.

Do I need to have both gas and electricity supplied by SEFE Energy to have a smart meter?

The electricity meter is the primary meter on a dual fuel installation. This requires both meters to be within approximately five meters (16 feet) of each other. If this isn’t possible, additional costs could be incurred.

For sites where SEFE Energy only supplies gas, we may be dependent on your electricity supplier to install an electricity smart meter prior to us being able to install the gas smart meter.

I’ve been told I can’t get a smart meter at the moment. Why is that?

There are various reasons why we may not be able to install a meter at your property, for example there may be an issue with an existing meter.

We’re installing smart meters for microbusinesses as a priority, which may also be why we’re currently unable to fit a smart meter at your premises.

You will qualify as a micro-business if:

  • You use less than 293,000 kWh of gas a year
  • You use less than 100,000 kWh electricity a year
  • You have fewer than 10 employees and an annual turnover or annual balance sheet total of less than €2 million.

There are some meters that aren’t eligible for an upgrade to a smart meter just yet. However, where we can’t fit a smart meter, we may be able to offer the installation of an AMR device.

Will I be charged for a smart metering fault resolution?

Normally, you won’t be charged. There may be charges applied if the meter has been damaged by you or a third party in accordance with your general terms and conditions. If there’s an issue with your smart meter, please contact us on 0161 837 3380 or email us at smartmetering@sefe-energy.com.

We can then investigate any issues and resolve them for you as soon as possible.

Will I be charged for a smart meter?

The installation of your smart meter is normally free, although there may be some additional costs. We’ll let you know prior to the installation if a cost may apply. Our installers will let you know of any additional costs before fitting the meter so you can decide whether you’re happy to proceed.

With your existing meter, you currently pay a very small maintenance charge which is built into your bill. This will be the same for your smart meter.

I have a smart meter but have just received an email to provide meter readings. Why is this?

We will sometimes email you to request a meter reading, even if you have a smart meter installed. This is to ensure the meter is still working correctly and so that you’re only billed to your actual usage.

Once your account has been updated, your bill will be generated based on readings from your new smart meter.

I have a smart meter, but a meter reader has come to take a reading. Why is this?

This can sometimes occur while your account is being updated with your new smart meter information. To ensure your meter is working correctly, we also arrange check readings and/or maintenance visits to take place.

What do I do if I’m moving premises after a smart meter is installed?

If you’re moving, please contact us at the earliest opportunity before you move on 0161 837 3392 or via email smartmetering@sefe-energy.com.

This way we can ensure that the meters are remotely cleared of all consumption data and a final remote meter reading can be taken before the new occupier moves in.

Do I need to have an internet connection for the smart meter to work?

No, you don’t require an internet connection for a smart meter to work. Depending on your location, the smart meter will communicate by using existing mobile or radio signals currently in your area.

Do I need to have a smart meter installed?

There is no legal obligation to have a smart meter installed.

However, SEFE Energy is supportive of the Government programme and we’re aiming to install smart meters for our eligible microbusiness customers so that they get the benefits of a smart meter.

If you’d like to read more about this please visit:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/smart-meters-the-smart-choice

Where will my new smart meter be installed?

Typically, it will be installed in the current location of your gas and electricity meters.

It would be helpful if you could send a picture of the meter location to smartmetering@sefe-energy.com to make us aware of any potential issues during installation.

A standard installation can take up to one hour per meter, you’ll be without gas and electricity during this time. The engineers completing the exchange will let you know how long each supply will be switched off for.

Can I change energy supplier and still use my smart meter?

Yes, you are free to change supplier if you have a smart meter, but it would be best to check if your new supplier can support the smart metering technology before you agree to switch. You can find your meter details on the meter itself, alternatively you can take a photo on your smart phone and send it to smartmetering@sefe-energy.com and we’ll be able to advise you.

How long does it take for AMR to be installed or enabled once it has been requested?

For gas, installation timescales for AMR devices can vary. Installation is subject to either SEFE Energy or our partners being able to schedule a suitable date to carry out the work.

A data logger is plugged into an external port on the meter so there is no need to disconnect the gas supply. Generally, installation takes around 20 minutes with minimal disruption to the site.

For electricity, your full meter must be exchanged, so it takes a little longer. We aim to complete installation within 3 months of you starting with us.

You may experience a brief loss of power depending on the type of supply you have. But don’t fret, this usually lasts no longer than an hour.

What happens if there is a problem with smart meter or AMR reads or data?

Once smart device technology has been installed, we’ll sometimes encounter issues with the read or its collection. Your invoice may then be based upon an estimate rather than an actual read. We monitor any such issues and look to resolve them as soon as possible.

If you believe the read we have collected and used to create your invoice is inaccurate please contact us and we’ll get to the bottom of things and inform you of any issues.

Gas customers: You can find more details on how to report a faulty meter or smart device here.

Electricity customers: To report an issue with your electricity meter, call us on 0161 837 3392 or email dataflows@sefe-energy.com.

Where can I find the information about the Smart Meter Installation Code of Practice?

You can read about the Smart Meter Installation Code of Practice in our Standard & Code section here.

opens in new window