Are smart meters dangerous?
By: Shell Energy
12 Mar 2020
Are you worried about the safety and health risks of smart meters? Smart meters are becoming increasingly popular within homes across the UK. But do we have any reason to fear the high tech energy meter replacement?
Are smart meters safe?
The good news is smart meters are not dangerous and are perfectly safe for your health. All of our smart meters are certified to be compliant with UK and EU safety regulations and undergo strict testing. So you can be rest assured there’s no dangers of smart meters.
Smart meter radiation
Don’t worry, smart meters aren’t radioactive. They communicate your energy usage through low-frequency radio waves similar to your car keys and television remote. It’s easy to believe that these invisible radio-waves are hiding some alarming side effects, but the reality is that smart meters are one of the safest pieces of technology found in the home, so you won’t be at any risk of radiation from your smart meter.
Smart meter health risk
Public Health England (PHE) have carried out rigorous research into the security, stability and safety of smart meters. The extensive testing has shown that smart meters produce radio waves far below the guidelines set by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).*
The results showed that the radio waves produced by smart meters are actually likely to be less than everyday devices such as your mobile phone. For more information on smart meter safety, visit our help page.
Smart meter data
Now we’ve covered that smart meters pose no risk to your health, can the same be said for your personal data?
The good news is that smart meters can’t collect any of your personal data. Sensitive information such as your name, address and bank account information are not shared through the device. Smart meters are built for one thing, and one thing only - capturing your energy usage so you don’t have to.
A smart meter can't share sensitive data any more than a traditional meter can, because it simply doesn't have the capability to do so. It can only measure the amount of energy you use.
Smart meters don’t connect to the internet. They have their own secure wireless network. Your energy data is then sent to us via a wide area network (WAN) that works in the same way your mobile phone sends and receives information. So you don’t have to worry about your personal details being at risk.
All of the smart meter data rules and regulations are enforced by Ofgem, so you know your energy data is in safe hands.
Benefits of having a smart meter
Smart meters are the next step toward a smarter, more energy efficient system. They produce accurate bills, allow you to see your energy usage in real time, and help the energy system to produce less waste. If you’d like to join the smart meter transformation, you can visit our smart meter page and register your interest.
But after your smart meter is installed, can you still switch supplier?
Well, there’s no need to worry, installing a smart meter won’t stop you from switching to your supplier of choice. The latest smart meter currently being installed is the SMETS2. It was designed with switching in mind, which means no interruption to your readings, payments or supply. It’s as simple as that.
If you already own a slightly older smart meter, you’re still able to switch supplier, but you may have to manually supply meter readings during the transition. If you own an older smart meter and you’re concerned about switching, contact your supplier for more information.
If you’re keen on discovering more information about our energy tariffs, you can check out our tariff page.