Types of Smart Meters

Networked Energy Services (NES) Jul 26, 2019
Tap to Read ➤
Smart meters represent the next generation of energy meters in the country, and they’re being rapidly installed across many states. This roll-out is part of an important government initiative that aims to provide smart meters to every small business and home by 2020.
These smart gadgets automatically send your meter readings to your utility suppliers (electricity and gas) with the promise of more accurate monthly bills as well as better visibility over your use of energy if you decide to have one installed.
They are a big step up from the dated models that we are used to, and they are likely to change the way we use energy in our homes.

What Are Smart Meters?

A smart meter is an advanced digital meter which measures electric usage more frequently than traditional meters and transmits that information more quickly to the energy supplier and customer. Smart meters read remotely, usually over a secure wireless network.
This means that utility companies do not need to send employees to your apartment, home, or complex for checking how much electricity and gas you used in a specific time frame. A smart meter also comes with a convenient in-home display. The display provides the household with real-time usage information, such as cost and kWh use.
Smart meters are great as they provide detailed information about your energy use. This will help you make informed choices about energy use in your home and business.

Types of Smart Meters

SMETS1 (First Generation Smart Meters)

SMETS1 meters provide for 2-way communications between you and your energy supplier, which enables energy suppliers to offer smart services.
Energy suppliers have installed the first gen of smart meters to date. They can, however, temporarily lose their smart functionality when you switch your energy supplier.
Still, households that have SMETS1 smart meters may still switch. But it means they will have to revert to providing the meter readings until they find a remote upgrade that makes them compatible with multiple suppliers.
This is because a number of different systems are used to manage these meters, and these systems are not linked together. Most of these smart meters communicate with your energy supplier through the 3G or 4G mobile network.
SMETS1 meters operate through communications and data infrastructure, which is set up by individual suppliers (rather than operating through one national communication and data system which is accessible to all energy suppliers).
It is worth mentioning that even if the smart meter that you are using reverts to the so-called 'dumb mode' because you have switched to a more economical energy supplier,it would still provide you with real-time updates regarding your consumption via the in-home display.This visibility offers valuable knowledge that a lot of households find extremely useful


SMETS 2 is the latest generation of smart meters. Although these smart meters are not widespread yet, they do utilize more advanced technology. These smart meters communicate via a central data network.
It is likely that in the future, a majority of suppliers will have access to this. This will make it easier for you to switch and keep your smart meter smart.
It is worth noting that this specification is considerably more advanced and sophisticated than meters that were initially rolled out in 2018. Note that a purpose-built communication and data network is used with these smart meters.
Smart meters can timely send information regarding the meter's status and the environment as well as meter readings. And this valuable information could be used to detect theft and security issues and diagnose meter faults.
For instance, a memory alert might indicate the meter is faulty. On the other hand, a reverse flow alert may mean that somebody has reversed the meter to steal energy
ANSI C12.18 is a popular ANSI standard that describes a protocol used for 2-way communications with a smart meter, usually used in North American markets.
The C12.18 standard is specifically written for meter communications through an ANSI Type 2 Optical Port, which specifies many lower-level protocol details. Keep in mind that ANSI C12.19 often specifies the data tables which are used.

Smart Meters for Your Business

Your business would be able to get a more accurate picture regarding how much energy you use when you install a smart meter. As a result, you will be fully informed when you make important decisions about the gas and electricity use of your business.
It could also help obtain a more accurate quote in case your business has to switch energy suppliers.

Author Bio

Diana Zebian is a marketing specialist at a leading smart grid solutions provider, Networked Energy Services (NES).