Do you want to know what happens if you unplug your smart meter? In this short guide, I will you understand this
Like other gadgets and devices, electric meters are not the same. They have become completely different than they looked 20 years ago. Furthermore, their working mechanism is also changed now. The new and latest generation of electric and gas meters are known as “smart meters.”
These smart ones are considered vital updating to grid modernization efforts and designed to offer an array of real-time information to energy consumption.
Moreover, all energy suppliers are encouraging users to install and acquire benefits from this technological advancement. Besides, these meters develop and offer you a better understanding of your exact electricity usage, and for suppliers, they represent the true consumer behaviour.
So far, energy suppliers and service providers have installed over 70 million smart meters that cover over 50% of U.S. households. And by Dec 2021, the number will be around 90 million.
Similarly, the UK government also plans to install over 24million smart meters across the UK and wales by the end of 2021. So, from both these perspectives, it looks that the smart meters are going great, and people are acquiring benefits from these meters.
Is it mandatory?
No, it is not but the question why would you deny useful and cost-effective equipment? However, to keep things clean and tidy, it is not mandatory to install a smart meter, and it is up to users whether they agree to install one or not. Furthermore, it is your right to request the removal of your smart meter at any time, but remember that your energy supplier may levy a charge for the cost of the switch.
What happens if I switch my energy supplier?
If you are using a smart meter in your home, you can switch to the service provider; it is your lawful right, and it won’t affect your history. So if you have a smart meter and want to move to a new service provider due to any reason, you can do that, no problem.
However, your smart meter will lose its functionality, and it will work like an old, traditional meter.
What Happens If You Unplug Your Smart Meter?
Technically speaking, you just cannot turn it off or unplug your smart meter. Similarly, never try to remove or dismantle your smart meter. Plus, dismantling your smart meter means you will have to use physical tools to dismantle or unplug the unit from the Grid System source.
This process is called TEMPERING. If you did not get electrocuted, and this tempering of your smart meter can be lethal for you. If you try to unplug or dismantle your smart meter from the grid system and the switchboard in your building, it will trigger an Alarm to your energy supplier, and they will investigate the matter. Similarly, don’t think they cannot trace you; it’s a matter of a few minutes only.
When they notice any disturbance in your home or area, they will seek help from local police authorities.
And, if that happens, be prepared to face the consequences and be ready to donate a huge amount of your hard-earned money against the fines and maybe a home and a home arrest. Similarly, you will have to pay for the damages that you have done during the dismantling process.
Accordingly, should I need to keep my smart meter plugged in all the time?
Yes, you need to. Your smart meter and in-home display cannot be unplugged; neither are they portable.
Hence both these devices should be plugged into the main lines and should be working. Your in-home display comes with rechargeable batteries that provide backup for a short time even when they are not connected to mains. If you see any problem with your in-home display or smart meter’s working, immediately contact the concerns.
What happens if I unplug my IHDs?
A smart meter’s home display or IHDs come with internal batteries. These rechargeable batteries can run out of charge. Usually, these batteries will work for about 60 minutes or 90 minutes; then, you will have to charge them if you want to get real-time updates.
Remember that the in-home display is not the meter, so your supply will not be affected if it gets off.
However, if the in-home display gets off, you can open it after charging the device and if you cannot get it back on even after charging the unit, contact your supplier.
What to do if my smart meter or In-Home Display goes off?
As mentioned earlier in this read, the in-home display screen comes with a smart meter. An in-home display is a small screen that communicates wirelessly with your energy supplier and smart meters. Moreover, it shows you all the data and information on a real-time basis. Your electricity usage is demonstrated in Kilowatt Hours (kWh) and pounds and pence.
You will receive with your smart meter will be partially charged. If it goes blank or doesn’t work, you need to plug it in and recharge it.
- After plugging it in, press the small, flat button on the backside to switch it on again.
- It is recommended to check your display on a frequent basis and keep it plugged in. Similarly, locate it in any prominent place where you can see it, such as near the kitchen windowsill.
- If it shuts down even after charging, please get in touch with your energy supplier.
- However, if your IHD turns off or the screen goes blank, your data will not be lost.
What to do if the smart meter’s display gets frozen?
If you notice that data displayed in your IHD is not getting updated or your screen doesn’t respond even after pressing the buttons, it means that it is not connected with your smart meter or lost its connection. If that’s the case, follow this process to bring it back:
Switch off your IHD and let it discharge completely. You can see it when the screen goes off. In this condition, it will not work if you press any buttons.
Keep the IHD off, restart it by pressing the on/off button. This will turn on the device via its emergency power reserve.
Next, drain out the emergency power reserves. You will know it’s drained out if the IHD doesn’t power on even after pressing the on/off button.
Now, plug it in for charging and then turn the device on. This will reconnect your IHD with your smart meter.
Can I turn my smart meter off?
If you feel that your device or smart meter is not working properly, we recommend you turn it off and back on. However, don’t try to temper or dismantle your smart meter by yourself as it is illegal and might bring you unforeseen troubles.
Furthermore, smart meters are not compulsory for you, neither are they handy for all households. Energy suppliers are encouraging users to install these meters, but you can refuse them if you want.
If you notice any issue with your smart meter, contact your service provider as it is the best approach and never try to deal with it yourself.
However, if you are unable to solve the issue and want to disable your smart meter, switching it off is not the permanent solution. We will recommend you to contact your energy supplier and discuss the issue with them. Even if you don’t want the smart meter at your place, contact them, and they will provide you an analog or traditional meter.
We hope that this guide covers everything that you were looking for, and now you clearly understand what happens if you unplug your smart meter or in-home display.
References: What is a smart meter?