Helpful Tips Victoria Barker 19/10/2021

Smart Meter Awareness Week: What landlords need to know

This week is the inaugural Smart Meter Awareness Week.

The week, organised by Smart Energy GB, aims to raise awareness and understanding of smart meters within the private rented sector.

Organisers have published a dedicated page on their website with information about smart meters for the private rented sector, as well as a factsheets for private landlords, letting agents and tenants.

The factsheets include information on who is responsible for installing a smart meter, and the benefits of them to landlords.

Raising Awareness

Smart Energy GB is a government-backed campaign helping everyone in Britain understand smart meters.  Research conducted by The Behavioural Architects into attitudes towards smart meters amongst landlords and letting agents in the private rented sector revealed that 40% of landlords surveyed believed that it is their responsibility to install a smart meter, while 39% believe it is the tenant’s.

What are smart meters?

Smart meters provide real time updates to energy suppliers and users in real time about their energy usage, and what it is costing, on a small device in the home. Smart meters remove the need to take meter readings.

There are two different types of smart meters; SMETS 1 and SMETS 2.  

SMETS stands for 'Smart Metering Equipment Technical Specifications'. SMETS 1 is the older model and SMETS 2 is the latest edition of the technology.

The Government have tasked power companies in the roll out smart meters, with the Government target for the national rollout of smart meters being June 2025.

How much to smart meters cost to install?

Smart meters are, currently, free to install.

Smart meters: Who is responsible for installing them?

According to Ofgem it is the billpayers right to install a smart meter and that the landlord shouldn’t unreasonably prevent the installation.

It is important to note this will depend on the contract, and many contracts, including the NRLA ones, require the tenant to ask permission before changing the meters on a property.

Where these clauses are present landlords should not unreasonably withhold permission for switching meters. As most new meters are smart meters, and they grant access to the best energy deals, it is usually reasonable to grant permission. Particularly if the smart meter is one of the second generation SMETS2 smart meters.

Further resources of energy efficiency

NRLA policy officer Gavin Dick will be participating in a webinar as part of this awareness week, on Tuesday 19th October at 6:30pm. You can register for this event here.

Landlords can understand more about energy efficiency by reading the NRLA’s resource pages on this subject. Members can also read our guide to energy bills and smart meters

You can see further updates from the week by following the official hashtag on twitter, #SmartMeterAwarenessWeek.