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Information about smart meters

Smart meters are a key part of the clean energy system of the future. They can help you to be more efficient in your home by monitoring your energy usage and they will also benefit the electricity system as a whole.

   

The meters that we have previously supplied have not been manufactured for several years and we have exhausted our stocks.

For key customers, the in-store terminals on which the keys are topped-up on are also becoming increasingly unreliable.

We wish to ensure that customers continue to receive the very best service, which is why we have invested in a completely new 'Pay As You Go' system called SmarterPAYG to replace the old key meter network.

Consumption of electricity supplied by Manx Utilities requires the use of a meter. All meters fitted by us in the future will be new smart meters.

All old key meters will be disassembled and their components will be reused, recycled or responsibly disposed of on-island or in the UK.

The meter manufacturers have withdrawn their conventional meters as they are no longer supported and have been discontinued. Therefore, it will not be an option to change back to our older style meters once we have updated our current meters.

As part of the programme's preliminary research, we considered In-Home Displays (IHD) being an integral part of the bespoke Manx system. However, research suggests that their use is short-lived and limited in effect. Therefore we have decided to offer them as a paid-for optional extra. They will be available for purchase later this year.

Manx Utilities will still be offering you the ability to closely monitor your energy usage. We will be launching our new SmarterLiving app, which will be free to download onto your phone or tablet. You will be able to keep track of your energy usage in pounds and pence, or in Kilowatts/hour if you prefer, which means you can measure how much power an electric appliance consumes. You will also be able to log into your account via a web portal linked on our website and monitor consumption via your desktop or laptop.

We are hopeful that this extra functionality will give all our customers the data required to make informed choices.

We will be seeking to offer additional capabilities in the future and welcome your feedback.

No. Smart meters use an entirely separate, bespoke wireless system. You do not need Wi-Fi in your home for it to work and it will not use your Wi-Fi if you have it.

Our meters do not use the local mobile phone network and are therefore not affected by a poor mobile signal. Your meter and the data management centre communicates via our low-power secure network.

Yes.

Your smart meter will work in the same way as other wireless systems like car remote keys or TVs, using low-frequency radio waves. The radio waves used by smart meters are classed as safe, with emissions considerably less than TVs and mobile phones. The level of radio waves produced by smart meters is very low (typically one million times less than internationally agreed guidelines), and their safety levels exceed every UK and EU standards.

No. A smart meter cannot 'spy' on you, any more than a traditional meter could. It cannot see or hear: it only takes measurements of your electricity use. Names, addresses and bank account details are not stored on, or transmitted by, a smart meter.

The installation

Our team of installers will be replacing all existing meters for domestic and business customers, starting with key meters. This will be done at no charge to customers and with minimum disruption. In a limited number of cases, we may have to undertake a pre-installation survey.

   

Manx Utilities' dedicated team of fully-trained meter installers will undertake and complete the work. If they do not show you their ID at the time of the installation then please request to see it if required. Our installation standards are set in our smart metering installation code of practice, which sets out the quality standards we will be applying to all installations.

We will aim to complete the installation with as little disruption to households as possible.

The electricity supply to the property will need to be disconnected for around 30 minutes while the installation takes place.

We will initially be in touch a month or so ahead of your installation, letting you know when we will be in your area, and advising you of the steps you need to take to prepare for your smart meter.

We will send details of your appointment date around 2 weeks before we plan to replace the old meter. The installation should take no more than an hour, but the installer will keep you informed should they require longer. It is preferable that someone over the age of 18 is at your property at the time. Should the meter and our equipment be inaccessible for our installers, please contact our scheduling team in advance on 687688 so that we can discuss this with you. We have developed a video that tells you about the installation process: you can see it by clicking here.

We are starting with the replacement of all key meters in spring 2022 and we hope to have helped our 8,000 key meter customers benefit from the new SmarterPAYG system by late 2022. We will then proceed with credit meter installations, and detailed plans for this will be made available in due course.

Depending on where you live, some credit customers will not benefit from this change for three to four years, but we are doing everything we can to replace meters as quickly as we can.

 

The installation will be at no additional cost. Under current arrangements, consumers pay for the cost of the meter and its maintenance through their energy bills, and this will be the same for smart meters.

If your existing meter location is not in a convenient place, you may wish for it to be moved. Please contact us as soon as possible: you will need to submit an electrical network enquiry (ENE) - click here to download the ENE form.

We will require access to your home if your meter is inside your property.

For meters located outside, we will not require access to your home. However, we do request that there is clear access for our fitters to continue the installation.

It is preferable that someone over the age of 18 is at your property at the time of installation. We will, of course, contact customers well in advance of any planned visit.

Post- installation

The installation of our smart meters will help play a small part in facilitating our commitment to the Isle of Man Government's climate change mitigation programme.

Our smart meters will aid customers in understanding their electricity usage, and help them better manage their consumption. This improved energy efficiency awareness can contribute to a reduced carbon footprint in our homes and businesses, supporting the Government to meet its target of net-zero carbon emissions.

    

The meter belongs to Manx Utilities and would remain at the property if you move house.

For SmarterPAYG customers supply will be disconnected in the event of your credit running out. If you have been disconnected, the minimum top-up, if you go into emergency credit status is £7 (£6 to cover the emergency credit payment, and £1 to ensure a positive credit balance). If your credit runs out during our friendly non-disconnect times, the electricity usage, standing charge and any debt repayment will continue to be deducted and require to be paid at your next top-up.

For billed customers, we would send appropriate reminders and notices. We will always offer a payment plan which can be tailored to customers’ specific needs. Only in situations where we have not received any response, whether that be a phone call, email, or payment, will we prepare documents to seek authorisation to disconnect the supply. The authorisation is reviewed and considered by our Executive team to ensure that we have gone through all necessary support before disconnecting the supply. Generally, this only happens when a customer has failed to get in touch and inform us that they have moved property.

 Please refer to our General Conditions of Supply.

Post-installation, if you experience any technical or functional issues with your new smart meter or other Manx Utilities equipment, please contact us on 687687 or via email: enquiries@manxutilities.im. We will resolve technical problems and will provide post-installation support.

SmarterPAYG account

To improve our service to you, we are investing in a completely new 'Pay As You Go' system called SmarterPAYG.

Topping up will become easier and much more convenient for most SmarterPAYG customers, as we can provide additional options for topping up your credit.

We have high hopes that our customers will embrace this change, however, we know that you may want to find out more.

    

Topping up will become easier and much more convenient. You will no longer need a key to top up, and you will not have to visit a shop to do this. You will be able to add credit via a new SmarterLiving app or through our online portal. The app will allow you to check your balance, and get alerts when your credit is running low.

All you need to do is;

  1. Downloaded the app by visiting the App Store for Apple or Play Store for Android devices.
  2. Register your account with Manx Utilities by providing them with your current email address. Your email will be directly linked to your account once registered.
  3. Once your smart meter is installed and you have been prompted by email to download the app, you will be able to use your email address to create a password.
  4. Starting at the home screen, press 'Top Up'
  5. Type the amount that you would like to add and then add your card details.
  6. Click 'Make Payment'
  7. You'll then receive confirmation of your top-up

Please note that Manx Utilities will need a current email address and a mobile number prior to downloading the SmarterLiving app.

If you need to update your email address and or mobile number, please call 01624 687675 or email accounts@manxutilities.im

However, do not be concerned if you do not want to use the app as you can still top up into one of several shops, or you can ask a trusted friend or family member to do that for you.

 

Yes, the minimum requirement is a mobile phone to receive SMS notifications from the system. If you need to update your email address and or mobile number, please call 687675 or email accounts@manxutilities.im

If you do not want to use the app you can still top up in one of several shops around the island by simply using your account number in-store and then paying with a card or cash. 

We will maintain a list of stores on our website and will provide further detail locally when we begin to install.

If you are a key meter customer and do not have a bank account, you will still be able to use cash to pay for your electricity in a number of stores.

Yes, you can give a trusted friend or relative permission to do this for you via the SmarterLiving app or through our online web portal, you could also provide them with your account number to top up in-store. However you decide to top up, your credit will go straight onto your account, which is associated with your meter, and there will no longer be a need to physically visit the meter.

If you are a SmarterPAYG customer, please check your account balance. If your energy supply stops as a result of running out of credit, you will need to add credit and then reconnect your meter manually. When it’s ready to reconnect, the symbol below will be flashing:

Press and hold ‘scroll’ for six seconds. You should hear a click when you let go. The following image will then appear, which lets you know you’re back on supply.

If this doesn’t work, give it a couple of minutes and try again. It may take up to 30 minutes for the meter to reset itself.

Should you still experience problems after trying this, please call 687687.

We are required for safety reasons to ensure that someone is physically at the property when the supply is reconnected.

If you are a standard credit customer and your supply is off please check if there a display on your meter. If there is a display, please try resetting your trip switches. If they are on or if there is no display on the meter then contact our Network Services Department on 687687.

Yes you can, depending on an assessment of your account status. Please call our Customer Care team on 687675 and we can talk you through the process. Once changed, you must remain on this payment method for a minimum of 12 months.

SmarterLiving app

To improve our service to you, we have invested in additional solutions that will allow you to keep track of your energy usage. That way, you can identify possible changes to your consumption behaviour.

    

You will use the email that you used when registering with Manx Utilities on your Customer application, or your updated information which you have provided to our team.

If you are not sure what email we have registered with us or if you wish to change the email please contact our Customer Care team on 687675 and we will be happy to help you.

Once your email has been updated our team will let you know when this should be available, this can sometimes take a couple of hours to process in our system. You can still download the app to see the features until your account is ready for you to log in.

If you have forgotten your password you can click “forgot password – reset password” this will ask you to enter your email address and then we will send a 4-digit token to reset your password. If you haven’t received it, please check your junk folder before contacting our team on 687675.

If you have tried to log in more than three times, your app will need to be unlocked by one our Customer Care team, please call on 687675.

The 4-digit token expires if you have not used it within an hour. If the message ‘A client-side error has occurred. Please review your information’ appears, click on “forgot password – reset password” and try another code. If this still does not work please contact our Customer Care team on 687675.

The email that will be used is the email which you have registered with Manx Utilities on your customer account. Try re-entering the email address, or an alternative email address if you use more than one. If you are not sure or you wish to change the email, please contact our Customer Care team on 687675 and we will be happy to help you.

Once you have downloaded our SmarterLiving app and registered your account, you will be able to see what is going on with your electricity usage anytime, anywhere. In near-real-time, you can view your hourly, daily, weekly and monthly usage to keep on top of how much you are spending.

The balance is available on the ‘money’ page in the app, it updates automatically when you open the app, if you feel that this hasn’t happened you can go to settings and click on refresh data.

This could mean that a payment is waiting to upload, please check your account the following working day. If you still have concerns, please contact our Customer Services team on 687675.

Payments made during the day will not be shown on the app until the following morning once our back-office systems have synchronised with the app. Payments made on the app will be shown straight away, if this isn’t the case call our Customer Services team on 687675.

Yes. There is a payment button which can be found on the overview or money page.

However, if your account is in credit you may not be able to make further payments. If your amount exceeds your yearly average (the latest 4 amounts on the app money screen divided by 4 plus the account balance). Then you do not need to make additional payments. We are not regulated like a bank and we only need your account to reflect what you use per annum. If you have any questions please contact our Customer Care Team 687675.

Payments made on the app will be shown straight away, if this isn’t the case call our Customer Care Team 687675.

This is calculated as: the historic average daily usage for the customer multiplied by the number of days in their billing period. The next bill estimation figure will change as their daily usage changes.

Click the Usage/Cost button on the Use page to switch between kWh (Usage) and GBP (Cost).

This could be due to a temporary network issue, and there may be some missing data for a short period of time. As a first step, please log out of your account and then log back in again. If you are a low user, change your display to hourly or daily. If you are still experiencing issues with the usage data display, then please call our Customer Care team on 687675.

Data management

Smart meters can make it easier to manage your energy use and do your bit for the environment. We want to make it easy for you to get one and to start enjoying the benefits of smart meters.

Data from smart meters will provide us with more detailed information about the electricity network, allowing us to deploy solutions based on near-real-time data.

   

Consumption (electricity usage) information

  • For billing
  • To provide online access to consumption data for consumers
  • To facilitate new tariffs
  • To comply with our reporting obligations
  • To deal with queries and complaints

 

Operational (alerts and alarms) data

  • To detect anomalies and to monitor statutory compliance, e.g. failures and outages, voltage parameters etc.
  • To identify fraud or theft

 

Operational (instrumentation) data – information about the demand on, the supply through and the performance of the distribution network

  • To allow us to maintain and improve the electricity network and perform our duties
  • To help us build a better understanding of the Islands energy usage and how it compares to similar properties and households
  • To enable us to offer customers more insights into managing energy use and saving money
  • To help us prioritise work on the network, connect properties to it more easily and lead to improvement of services
  • To plan and optimise investment

 

Statistical data, to be used for electric load forecasting, anomaly detection, demand-side management, planning of investment and network maintenance. Statistical data is anonymised operational data so that individual consumers may no longer be identified through it. Once anonymised, data ceases to be personal.

Designed with security in mind, smart meters will operate on a private secure wireless network owned and operated by Manx Utilities.

The meters will be recording data in half-hour blocks and transmitting it to us automatically.

The data collected by the meter is used for producing your bill/debiting your SmarterPAYG, allowing you to monitor your energy use and for discharging our duties in respect of the generation.

Operational data, such as the one associated with a power cut, for example, will be communicated immediately.

For billing and reporting purposes, as well as for dealing with queries and complaints, consumption data will be retained for up to seven years after the end of the service agreement with you.

Operational data will be held for up to 13 months after it has been read. However, we will aim to anonymise it sooner so it becomes statistical data and you may no longer be identified through it.

None of your personal data will be passed to third parties for marketing purposes.

We may share your personal data with third parties in certain circumstances, for example:

  • So we may comply with any legal obligation
  • On limited occasions, in order to apply our terms and conditions of supply
  • To protect the rights, property or safety of Manx Utilities, our customers or others
  • If we engage consultants, contractors or academic institutions, but only to the extent they require to perform their duties

You have certain rights in respect of your data, of which the right to access is only one. Amongst others, are the right to be informed about the personal information we collect and the rights to request portability, correction or erasure of your data. For more information, please check our data privacy policy.