Common smart meter problems and how to fix them
Your smart meter could tell you how much gas your boiler is using and how much electricity you use per day. They’re extremely clever devices that could make you more aware of the energy you’re using and encourage you to reduce your consumption. However, as with any technology, you may find that you’ve run into a few issues.
That’s why we’ve identified some of the most common smart meter problems and how you can fix them so that you can continue to get the most out of your meter.
Why is my smart meter beeping?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions about smart meters. The beeping will depend on the type of meter you have and who your energy supplier is, but there are quite a few simple explanations for the noise.
Most meters will try to alert you to important things that its manufacturers believe you should be aware of. This could include low battery, weak signal or daily energy usage.
With some smart meters, you can set a daily usage allowance to ensure that you aren’t using an excessive amount of energy. Setting a limit could prevent you from overpaying and you may be able to reduce your carbon footprint by using less gas and electricity. If you’re nearing this allowance, the meter will beep to let you know. This is why many people find that their smart meter’s beep in the evening. The daily budget may have been pre-set when it was installed and this can be increased according to your needs (or if you want the device to stop beeping).
Another cause of beeping from your smart meter is low battery. When the battery reaches a certain level, the device will alert you so you can plug it back in. Some people prefer to leave their smart meters plugged in 24/7, but obviously this will use electricity, so it’s up to you how you want to charge your device.
Beeping could also be a sign that the signal to the meter is too weak. The device requires an internet connection to work and the display screen needs to be placed relatively close to the meter in your home so that they can work together. The noise could be because the internet connection has been lost or the signal to the meter is too weak. Instead of just moving the display closer, you may need to turn the power off altogether, move the screen to its new location and then turn it back on again. This should allow the device to reconnect to the internet and stop the noise.
The final reason for beeping is an unread message. Some devices will have an inbox section where you can check any alerts. When you have an unread message, the device may beep. If the noise becomes too annoying, you can usually turn off alerts in the device’s settings or turn them to silent.
If you’re unable to find a reason for the beeping, you should contact your energy supplier who may be able to provide advice or offer to install a new smart meter.
How to get rid of the red triangle on a smart meter
A red triangle is yet another sign of an alert. Your smart meter is trying to tell you something, though deciphering what this is can be difficult.
A red triangle could be a sign of an unread alert, just like the beeping. Temporary loss of signal, such as a power cut, could also cause a red triangle to appear. Clearing all of your alerts/messages should solve this problem.
Can I turn my smart meter off?
If you’re unable to solve the issues with your smart meter, you may be tempted to turn it off or get rid of it altogether. These devices aren’t a requirement and they aren’t necessarily beneficial for all households. Energy suppliers were provided with a deadline to roll the smart meters out by 2020 and so they’re required to ask eligible customers if they’d like to have one installed, but you can turn down their request.
Before you turn off your smart meter for good, you should try to determine the problem with your energy supplier first.
If you’re unable to troubleshoot the problem and want to disable your smart meter, you shouldn’t just switch it off. You should contact your energy supplier to let them know that you won’t be using it in the future. Your supplier will then either provide you with an analogue meter as before, or they might turn off the ‘smart’ aspect of your smart meter. This means that you need to provide your readings manually or have someone come to your house to check the meter themselves.