Regulatory Advice | Contact | Utilita Energy (2023)

Staying Connected

The Staying Connected Energy Consumer Checklist is a document produced by Consumer Focus that contains the key information that energy consumers need to know in order to get, and stay, connected to their energy supply.

To find out more, visit citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/energy/energy-supply.

Citizens Advice and Advice Direct Scotland

We're here to help if you're having trouble with your energy. Our Customer Care Team provides a wide range of support services if you need help to manage your energy supply. To speak to someone, call us today on 0345 072 000.

Contact Citizens Advice or Advice Direct Scotland if you need help with an energy problem – for example with your bills or meters, or if you’re struggling to pay for the energy you use. They’re the official sources of free and independent energy advice and support.

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If you live in England or Wales, go to citizensadvice.org.uk/energy or contact the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133. Calls are free.

If you live in Scotland, go to energyadvice.scot or contact Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 196 8660. Calls are free.

Priority Services Register

We are dedicated to providing extra help to our most vulnerable customers to make managing their account with us that much simpler.

You may be eligible to join our Priority Services Register (PSR) if you, or a member of your household are:

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  • Disabled
  • Over 65 years
  • Chronically sick

This confidential service allows us to see which of our customers require specific services to help manage their account and remain on supply.

Once on this register, we can:

  • Nominate a friend of family member to act on your behalf
  • Arrange for someone to attend your property to read your meters free of charge
  • Arrange for your meter to be moved for ease of access, if your meter is in an inaccessible location
  • Supply large print or braille correspondence if you have sight problems
  • Contact you if we see your supply has gone off and you require a constant supply due to a medical condition - *Please note in order for this service to be applicable you will need to have a smart meter installed within your home*

To find out more about the PSR and how you can be included, please contact us on 03303 337 441.

Apply for the Priority Services Register

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Please be aware, your water supplier might also have this type of register. For more information, please contact them directly.

Need more advice?

Debt Problems

If you are looking for impartial advice on debt, StepChange Debt Charity provides free debt management and insolvency solutions.

If you're struggling with debt, or would like more information and tailored advice on your debt problem, you can contact StepChange directly on freephone 0800 138 1111.

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Not sure if you have a debt problem? Take StepChange's quick online test here

If you are still unable to pay and you are on income support, job seekers allowance, pension credit or employment and support allowance you might be eligible for the Fuel Direct Scheme.

Gas Emergencies

What to do if you smell gas:

  • Do not turn any electrical switches on or off
  • Do not use matches or naked flames
  • Open doors and windows to get rid of the gas
  • If possible turn off the gas supply to the meter
  • Do not use mobile phones

Call National Gas Emergency Number on 0800 111 999.

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FAQs

Can I connect my phone to my smart meter? ›

SmartThings Energy Control (STEC) is an app that shows live information from your smart meter. This guide explains how pair your In-Home Display (IHD) with the STEC app, so you can access your energy data from your smartphone or tablet.

What happens if I run out of emergency credit Utilita? ›

What happens if my Emergency Credit runs out? If your Emergency Credit runs out during the week after 2pm*, your supplies will NOT go off until 10am* the following day. This will give you enough time to top-up your gas and/or electricity.

Can smart meters give false readings? ›

The scientists compared the amount of energy they put into the system after a week with the amount of current the meter registered. They then calculated the differences between the two numbers. Five out of nine smart meter models tested gave readings which were too high.

What are the A and B buttons on my smart meter? ›

To read the meter: press the white B button - the screen will light up. wait until the screen says 'meter boost' - press 'A' to select 'no' and you should see numbers followed by 'KWH' write down the numbers from left to right.

Can I just unplug my smart meter? ›

The built-in battery can last for up to four hours, so you can unplug it for a short while if you need to.

Can smart meters turn off your power? ›

If you have a 'smart meter'

If you have a smart energy meter in your home, your supplier could potentially disconnect your supply remotely without needing access to your meter. However, before they do this, they must have: contacted you to discuss options for repaying your debt, eg through a repayment plan.

Do smart meters require Wi-Fi? ›

Smart meters use an entirely separate, bespoke wireless system. You don't need Wi-Fi in your home for it to work and it won't use your Wi-Fi if you have it. Your smart meter and in-home display communicate via a secure national network which is solely for smart meters.

Do smart meters affect Wi-Fi? ›

WILL MY WIFI CONNECTION BE AFFECTED BY MY SMART METER? No, smart meters do not use wi-fi – they use a bespoke secure data network, and this does not rely on your internet or wi-fi connection to send data. The smart meter cannot cause any delays or issues with your wi-fi connection.

Can I turn my smart meter off at night? ›

It isn't required for the smart meter to work properly and send data to your energy company. You could leave it switched off in the box and your meter would work fine.

What can I do if I can't afford to top up my electric? ›

You can get temporary credit if you can't afford to top up your meter.
...
Tell your supplier if you need extra support
  1. are disabled.
  2. have a long-term illness.
  3. are over state pension age.
  4. have young children living with you.
  5. have financial problems - for example if you are behind on rent.

Can you use emergency credit twice? ›

Paying back Emergency Credit and Friendly Credit

You need to repay your Emergency Credit and Friendly Credit in full before you can use it again. Find out more about: repaying debt on your electricity meter.

How do I apply for a fuel voucher? ›

If you can't afford to top up your prepayment meter, you might be able to get a fuel voucher. This is a code given to you in a letter or in a text message or email. You can use it to add credit to your gas card or electricity key. If you don't have one of these, contact your supplier to get one.

Why you should refuse a smart meter? ›

The chief concern of smart meter critics, besides the cost, is the potential privacy concerns that come with a household's data being transmitted to a supplier. Energy firms are adamant that only they can see your data and that information cannot be passed on to a third party without the customer's explicit permission.

Does electricity cost more with a smart meter? ›

It uses a very small amount of energy and costs between 70p and £1 a year to run. In fact, smart meters usually save you money. This is because they tend to lead to a reduction in your energy consumption.

Why is my bill more than my smart meter reading? ›

Top answer. The smart meter or IHD display is programmed with its own costs, often different to your tariff. The App is based on your actual billing account.

Do I press A or B on my gas meter? ›

press the A button. press the A button again until you see 'METER INDEX' and numbers followed by 'M3' write down the number from left to right. ignore any zeroes at the beginning and any numbers after the decimal point.

Do I need to submit meter readings if I have a smart meter? ›

You don't need to take any readings with a smart meter, it will do that automatically.

What is the red button for on a smart meter? ›

Press the red button to wake it up. Once it says Credit On you can press the red button again. The screen will say Meter Index. That's your meter reading.

Do smart meters still work if not plugged in? ›

All smart meters use a national wireless communication network to send information to your energy supplier. So, even if you do not have an internet connection in your home, a smart meter will still work.

Can you go back to normal meter from smart meter? ›

Unfortunately, it's not usually possible to downgrade from a smart meter back to a traditional meter, except in very specific exceptional circumstances. Even in those cases, downgrading is extremely expensive and not usually worth the cost.

How long is electric off for smart meter? ›

It takes about an hour to install each meter, and your power and gas will each need to be switched off for around 30 minutes.

Are smart meters a good idea 2022? ›

Smart meters can help you to save money because they display your energy usage and the cost of this usage clearly on the screen. You don't have to wait for an energy reading to find out the cost of the energy you are using – cooking, TV, lights, heating water, charging devices or playing games and music, for example.

How can I avoid a smart meter? ›

How can I refuse a smart meter? Smart meters are not mandatory and you have the right to refuse one if you wish. However, if your current meter is too old, it can be a safety hazard to not get it replaced. Speak to your energy supplier about your concerns if this is the case.

Can energy companies manipulate smart meters? ›

No. Smart meters can receive information from suppliers as well as send it to them, but that doesn't mean your supplier can disconnect your energy supply more easily. You are still protected by the same strict regulations in place for standard meters.

Can my electric meter be wrong? ›

Meter faults are rare. But there could be a problem with your meter if: you're paying more than usual. you get a bill you weren't expecting.

Can an electrician change a meter? ›

If your energy supplier can't move your meter

You might still need a registered electrician or gas engineer to do other work - for example, preparatory digging, fitting a meter box or reconnecting your supply inside your home.

Does the electricity meter ever reset? ›

Keep in mind, your electricity meter never 'resets', so you need to take two readings at two different times and compare them to understand your electricity usage over time.

Do they remove old meters when installing smart meters? ›

Smart meters directly replace your existing meters for gas and electricity.

What are the problems with smart meters? ›

Smart meters currently report your usage through mobile networks, which can be unreliable in certain areas, particularly if you live in a rural location. This can lead to readings not being sent, which can lead to confusion over bills for both you and your energy company.

Do smart meters know what appliances you are using? ›

No. Our current tracker shows only your total gas and electricity usage. But you can turn appliances on or off around your home and watch how your energy usage changes.

Who pays for smart meters? ›

A smart meter can automatically send meter readings to your supplier, meaning they can bill you accurately for the energy you've used. You won't have to pay upfront to have a smart meter installed - smart meters will be paid for through everyone's energy bills, just as old-style meters are.

Do smart meters use microwaves? ›

With both cell towers and smart meters, the entire body is immersed by microwaves."

Is electricity cheaper at night smart meter? ›

Usually – the 7 hours of off-peak electricity rates at night are usually cheaper, but you can check with your energy supplier to be sure. If you're an EDF customer you can find out the current unit rates for economy 7 meters as of 1st October 2022, if you're on the standard variable tariff.

Why is my smart meter so high first thing in the morning? ›

Why's there a charge on my IHD first thing in the morning? Your IHD will show your standing charge each day, which usually refreshes around midnight. You can check how much your standing charge is on your latest bill.

Can a magnet slow down an electric meter? ›

If the electricity meter uses a current transformer (CT) current sensor, the placement of a magnet could reduce the current reading and thus reduce the sensed active power.

Who qualifies for free electricity allowance? ›

Any Irish residents aged over 70 can apply for the Free Electricity Allowance. Applicants must: Live legally and permanently in Ireland. Be the only person in their household who applies for and receives the allowance.

How do you bypass an energy meter? ›

Meter can be powered off by removing all the voltage connections. There are many ways to bypass an energy meter. The most common way is by putting a jumper (Figure 6) in meter terminal such that connection is bypassed and the energy consumption is not registered. This kind of meter bypass can be easily detected.

Who qualifies for free electricity? ›

The benefit applies to all Indigent residential household that meet the eligibility criteria, notwithstanding whether electricity is supplied by the municipality or directly by Eskom. 1. IMPLEMENTATION DATE The policy will be effective as from 1 July 2022.

What is the maximum amount you can put on an electric key? ›

Bulb prepay electricity meters can hold up to a total of £255, as can the electricity key. This means at any one time you can have a maximum of £510 on your meter and key. Gas meters have no limit, so you can top up as much as you like. EDF Energy prepay electricity meters can hold up to £249.

Can you use someone else's electric key? ›

Can you use someone else's electricity key or gas card to top up your prepayment meter? No, your key/card will only work in your meter.

Will my emergency electric run out on a Sunday? ›

Please be warned that there are no telephone emergency top up services on Sunday. It is common for people to report this each week, so make sure you have enough cover to last the weekend.

How many times can you get fuel vouchers? ›

This scheme only allows us to issue ONE x £30 (subject to change) voucher at a time, with a maximum of 3 vouchers being issued in a 12 month period with a 10 working day gap between each one.

Who is entitled to the 400 fuel grant? ›

Who is eligible for the energy grant? Every household in England, Scotland and Wales that is connected to the electricity grid will be eligible for the grant, which is expected to cover around 28 million homes. Equivalent support will also be provided to households in Northern Ireland, where energy policy is devolved.

How do you get the 400 fuel grant? ›

Customers do not need to apply or register to receive the £400. It will be applied automatically to their energy account. If you receive a text or email asking you to 'complete a form' or 'input your bank details', then this is a scammer. Customers do not need to do either of these actions to receive the money.

How do I reset my smart meter in home display? ›

You can reset your in-home display if you have connection issues, or if it stops updating. Unplug it from the mains and hold down the power button on the back for five seconds. Wait one minute, reconnect to power and switch it on.

How do I get my smart meter working again? ›

If your smart energy monitor stops working, check the mains power cable is inserted correctly and that your power supply is switched on at the wall. If it's still not working, try using batteries. If batteries don't help, then the problem may be with your smart meters.

How do I reset my smart meter after topping up? ›

Press and hold the 'B' button for around 2 seconds, until you see a message saying 'Supply enabled'. Your meter is now online again, and the gas or electricity supply to your home will be restored.

How do I reset my British gas smart meter monitor? ›

My smart energy monitor has gone blank
  1. Unplug your smart energy monitor.
  2. Move it closer to your electricity meter.
  3. Plug your smart energy monitor back in.
  4. Wait seven days (most smart energy monitors re-start automatically within a week)
  5. If it's still not working after seven days, please contact our live chat agents.

What happens if I unplug my smart meter display? ›

The IHD can be really useful to show you how much energy you are using in real time, however if you would prefer not to see that then you can certainly unplug it and it will not effect your billing.

Do smart meters have a reset button? ›

To reset it it turn it right off by holding down the power button for 10 seconds and then power it back on again, it should work.

Do smart meters need mobile signal? ›

No. Smart meters use an entirely separate, bespoke wireless system. You don't need Wi-Fi in your home for it to work and it won't use your Wi-Fi if you have it. Your smart meter and in-home display communicate via a secure national network which is solely for smart meters.

Do smart meters need replacing? ›

You have to take notice of your daily readings, and make a positive choice to cut back on your energy use. Get useful tips for saving energy. One of the requirements of smart meters is that they need replacing once every 10 years, which is more regularly than traditional gas and electricity meters.

Will my smart meter automatically update? ›

Smart Meters are reportedly set to undergo major changes which could see a "surge in pricing" for millions of people across the UK. According to a new report, smart meters will automatically send suppliers updates every 30 minutes on customer power use from May 2022, possibly paving the way for "time of use" tariffs.

Why is my smart meter reading different to my bill? ›

The smart meter or IHD display is programmed with its own costs, often different to your tariff. The App is based on your actual billing account.

Are British Gas having problems with smart meters? ›

Big Zero Report 2022

Several British Gas customers have experienced issues with their smart meters. One of them tweeted that their new meter which replaced a faulty one showed that the household was using £101,197.32 worth of gas an hour.

How much electricity does a smart meter monitor use? ›

The smart meter itself doesn't cost you anything because it doesn't use your energy supply. Your In-Home Display – the small touchscreen device that shows your home energy usage – is powered by your electricity supply. It uses a very small amount of energy and costs between 70p and £1 a year to run.

Why is my smart meter showing gas usage when not used? ›

It could be due to the electricity meter being in a cupboard or cellar, preventing connectivity. If it's just the gas meter sending readings, it might be due to your gas meter not getting through to your electricity meter (via your Home Area Network or HAN).

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