Smart meter data
The UK Government is aiming for every household in the UK to have electricity and gas smart meters installed by 2020.
What are Smart Meters?
Smart meters are the next generation of electricity and gas meters and have a number of advantages over conventional meters. Smart meters come with a digital display screen that shows how much energy is being used in real time and how much it costs in pounds and pence. Suppliers will no longer need to take meter readings in order to produce bills as the smart meter will send accurate meter readings straight to energy suppliers; this means you will always receive accurate and not estimated bills. Having a smart meter will also make it easier to switch energy suppliers.
For more information take a look at Smart Energy GB, an organisation that was created to help everyone in Britain understand smart meters www.smartenergygb.org.
How can I get a smart meter?
The roll out of smart meters is being led by energy suppliers, to find out more about the installation of smart meters you will need contact your energy supplier. To identify your supplier click here.
How will smart meters help us run our network?
The electricity network is changing as different types of technologies are connecting to it making the flows of electricity across the network much more complex to predict. Click here for more information. We will need to be smarter in how we operate the network which means we need better information about how and when electricity flows across the network. Although we will not be installing or owning the meter, information from smart meters will provide distribution network operators like Western Power Distribution with more information about how much electricity is being consumed across the network. This will in turn help us prioritise work on the network, connect properties to the network more easily and to improve our network and make it more efficient. This will help keep our cost down.
How will Western Power Distribution use smart meter data?
We will only use your information to improve our electricity distribution network and do not intend to monitor or use data collected from smart meters to specifically identify individuals or to make decisions that directly affect you. For example, we may use your information to help identify when a particular transformer needs to be upgraded or replaced, or will combine your information with lots of other customer’s information to build a picture of energy consumption across a particular area.
Unlike Suppliers, who need to know an individual customer’s electricity consumption in order to charge them for the electricity they have used, WPD will not typically be interested in the consumption pattern of individual households. Instead, WPD needs to know about the total volumes of energy moving across the various parts of the distribution network at each point in time. WPD can establish these total volumes by adding together the consumption data for all customers on the same part of the network and combining this with consumption data collected from any larger business customers on that part of the network.
All meter reading data will be held anonymously in a secure database, which will not contain names and addresses or other customer data. We will keep a record of the total amount of electricity customers’ use each month, and the amount of electricity used during each half hour period for every circuit and every substation. For the vast majority of customers we will hold combined half hourly data from all the properties with smart meters who are supplied on a specific circuit or from the local substation. So we won’t need to hold individual half hourly meter readings. However if you live in a more remote area and you are the only customer supplied from your local substation, we need to hold your individual half hourly meter readings.
Ofgem, our industry regulator, has approved our privacy plan. This describes the systems, policies and procedures we will be using to safeguard customer's smart meter data. Click herefor Ofgem's approval letter.
We will not use your information to contact you with adverts, offers or promotions or sell your data to third parties for marketing purposes.
If you have any questions, complaints or requests relating to your Personal Information, then please contact us using the following details:
Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Call us on: 0800 096 3080