What Is A Smart Meter and Do I Have One?


Karl Villanueva


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What Is a Smart Meter and How Do I Know If I Have One?

A digital electricity meter is not automatically a smart meter. In this blog post, you will learn what a smart meter is and how it differs from other metering devices. You will also find out how to determine if you already have a smart meter and the advantages it offers for your personal energy management.

What Is a Smart Meter?

A smart meter is a meter that can accurately measure your energy consumption and transmit the data in real time. In contrast to conventional meters that require manual reading, smart meters provide detailed and precise information about your energy usage without any need for manual input. The data can be directly transmitted to your electricity provider, eliminating the need for readings, and you are billed based on actual consumption.

Common Misconception: Digital ≠ Smart Meter

Often, modern metering devices with a digital display are mistaken for smart meters. By definition, a smart meter is only “smart” when the metering device is combined with a Smart Meter Gateway.

Together, these two components form a Smart Meter:

  1. The digital electricity meter measures electricity consumption in kWh.
  2. The Smart Meter Gateway serves as the communication unit that enables real-time data transmission and reception.

Common Misconception: Adapter ≠ Smart Meter

You might have an adapter on your electricity meter or an inverter with which you can track your electricity consumption in real-time, for example, the Powerfox or SMA Sunny Home Manager. Adapters such as those are for monitoring your electricity usage but are unfortunately not a smart meter.

Your meter only becomes a smart meter when the modern metering device has a Smart Meter Gateway — a small communication unit that’s attached to it.

Smart Meter: Connected and Automated

Smart meters resemble digital meters as they also have a digital display, but they feature a crucial additional component: the Smart Meter Gateway.

The communication unit, the Smart Meter Gateway, is a small device located directly on the electricity meter or in the meter box. The most common brands of gateways include Theben, PPC, and EMH.

With the gateway, real-time energy consumption data is securely transmitted directly to your electricity provider. The beauty of a smart meter is that you can monitor your energy consumption almost in real-time through a connected app or an online platform, helping you adjust your energy consumption behavior.

If your meter reading is automatically sent to your electricity supplier, you can identify a gateway, or you have a particularly high consumption (in Germany, Smart Meters are installed by the grid operator for an annual consumption of 6,000 kWh and above), then you most likely have a smart meter.

How Can I Determine If I Have a Smart Meter?

If you're wondering what type of electricity meter is installed at your home, there are some simple visual clues to look for between meter types.

*Our dynamic electricity contract can only be used with BSI certified Smart Meters.

Fairly Priced Electricity for Everyone

We hope this helps you to clarify what type of meter you currently have. If you already have a smart meter installed, great! We would welcome you on our SimplyDynamic tariff.

If you do not yet have a smart meter installed, check out this page to find out how you can get one. Don’t want to invest in a smart meter just yet? That’s absolutely fine. You can get started with our SimplyFair tariff.