How to get a Smart Meter for free?

A smart meter can be used to manage your electricity output and determine how much energy you use; this allows you to save money in the long term as well as improve your energy footprint by having the best electric heating system (or gas) to heat your home.

This article will discuss the benefits of smart meters, what they do and how to get one for free thanks to the UK government ECO4 scheme.

Awareness of energy use has never been more important, especially as prices rise and many need help with gas and electric bills.

Say goodbye to gas and electricity meters with free smart meter installations to keep those pesky electric and heating bills low!

Do You Qualify for Smart Meter under the ECO4 scheme?

You may be eligible for free energy efficiency and home improvements. You may also be eligible for smart meter installation if you own a poorly heated and uninsulated property and receive qualifying benefits. Start your application below to find out what government energy grants are available to you.

Who is likely to qualify?

  • If you are a Homeowner or rent
  • Live in a poorly heated property or with old house insulation (loft and cavity)
  • Receive one of the qualifying benefits

A rented property can also get first-generation smart meters free of charge to monitor their energy consumption with the in-home display smart functionality.

energy saving smart meters

What is a smart meter?

This handy digital device is believed to be the new generation of electric meters as they allow consumers to control their electricity use more. These are called smart meters.

Having a smart meter installed is incredibly simple and requires no disruption to your home. It only takes an hour and a half to get a smart meter installed if you’re getting an electricity meter (for both gas and electricity meters installed simultaneously, it can be a little different).

Are you eligible for a FREE smart meter installed?

To be eligible for a free smart meter and energy system upgrade, you must meet certain criteria.

The criteria indicated by Ofgem are very specific but, in general, you’re likely to qualify if you live in an electrically heated home, own your own property and receive qualifying benefits from the government.

Learn more about how smart meters work blow or check your eligibility to get one installed for FREE below!

smart meter technology

What are the benefits of smart meters?

If you wonder “are smart meters good for my household?”, click the link above to as we dive into the whole subject in more detail on our blog.

  • Many smart electric meters can give you estimated bills and provide automatic readings on the in home displays, allowing you to prepare your finances in advance for gas and electricity and other household bills.
  • You can use your smart meter as a prepayment meter through the in-home display and easily switch energy supplier and smart tariff without having to do more than access a website, smart pay or phone app.
  • An in-home display shows you exactly how much your estimated bills will be every month, so you’ll save from having to pay extra.
  • New smart meters are all connected to a secure network without depending upon Wi-Fi or an internet connection, so you never have to worry about losing access to your smart meter data.
  • You can quickly and efficiently apply for emergency credit, customers couldn’t do this previously with existing gas and electric meters, from your energy suppliers for gas and electricity through the handy in-home display, meaning you’ll never be without electricity (you will need bank account details).
  • With a smart meter fitted, it will require very little maintenance, meaning there’s no disruption to your energy usage, unlike more traditional gas and electric meters, which will require the occasional servicing.
  • Some versions of smart meters can work alongside smart heating thermostats to manage your electricity usage in your home via smart mode without extra cost, saving those pounds and pence!

ECO4 is a government backed scheme

UK GOV website address

How do smart electricity meters work?

A smart electric meter works by measuring the amount of electric current in your home at particular times of the day, and then it calculates an average of how much you use in about an hour – most of the time less! Your energy consumption data will remain entirely private. More accurate bills are on offer thanks to the new generation of smart meters.

This method sends the information to your in-home display as a smart meter reading and onto your energy supplier via a central data network. It’s effortless to manage your smart meter readings; most people use mobile phones. The help determine accurately how much you have to pay for your electricity bill. The same methods can also apply to both gas and electric meters.

This method sends the information to your in-home display as a smart meter reading and onto your energy supplier via a central data network. It’s effortless to manage your smart meter readings; most people use mobile phones. The help determine accurately how much you have to pay for your electricity bill. The same methods can also apply to both gas and electric meters.

smart meter mobile controler
smart thermostat controller

More information on smart meter benefits:

The first-generation smart meter installation was started when manual meter readings were more common, but that isn’t necessary now as your energy use, and more precise bills can be predicted digitally.

A traditional meter doesn’t record digitally, so the readings don’t always lead to accurate bills for consumers, not like first-generation meters.

If you get a meter installed now by your energy supplier, you will likely get the most up-to-date model (such as second-generation smart meters).

An example is a SMETS2 Smart Meter (otherwise known as Smart Metering Equipment Technical Specifications).

Smart meter FAQ:

Here we’ve put together an FAQ section for the most common questions about electric smart meters and how smart meters work. Read on to get all of your smart meter questions answered.

Q: What is the cost of smart meters?

A: Without the ECO4 or ECO3 scheme, the average cost of installing smart meters is around £80-£150, depending upon the size of your home and the opinion of the certified electrician supervising the installation. The price will also depend on how difficult the job will be to install smart meters at your property. But the ECO scheme means you get your smart meters for free!

Many people have either never heard of the ECO scheme or only know of it to help gain the storage heater replacement grant, but now you know differently!

Q: Will I save money on energy bills with an electricity smart meter?
A: On its own, a smart meter won’t help you conserve your pounds and pence, but it will show your energy usage and how much you spend on energy consumption. This will be through the simple-to-understand smart functionality displays built into every electric smart meter.

With this information, you can seek better deals for your electricity energy tariffs or switch energy suppliers via the smart grid after your smart meter installation. You will have complete control over your energy expenditure, your energy supply and how much you pay towards electricity bills.

Q: Are smart meters safe?

A: Yes, smart meters are incredibly safe. All modern gas and electric meters are built to the highest standards and require very little maintenance. Smart meter installations are performed by expert engineers with the highest safety standards. There are no risks to your health with the installation of a smart meter. Not only is smart metering physically safe, but all of your energy data is held securely via a private network.

Why are the government providing free meters?
A: It is well-known that we are currently facing an energy crisis which energy suppliers need to cater for. Even if you have switched supplier to a new supplier, it does not stop the fact that public health England (along with the Royal National Institute) is crying out for something to change with energy suppliers, so that the most underprivileged in the UK will not suffer the ill effects of cold weather.

If your energy supplier provides you with a smart meter, you will have easier access to their credit mode when you are in your hardest time, as well as a simpler connection with your supplier’s communications hub.

Q: How do you take a smart meter reading?

A: After your smart meter installation (you will sometimes have a smart metering installation code), if you want to take a reading, you can do it exactly the same way, but with a lot more accurate and precise bills and simplicity thanks to the in-home display screen. Current meters are significantly less energy dynamic and won’t give you a completely accurate bill; sometimes, you will need to provide regular meter readings.

Q: Can I have my existing meters replaced?

A: Most of the first smart meters (eg. old meters) will be replaced easily with next-generation smart meters, as well as prepayment customers being able to go through the installation process – even if you’ve switched supplier! This will take around one and a half to two hours but will require minimal disruption. Around twenty minutes of this will be turning off your gas and electricity to safely install smart meters. You can ask your smart meter installer how to switch suppliers and kilowatt hours.

Check if you’re eligible to have your smart meters installed for free!

intelligent thermostatic radiator valve

Which benefits qualify for the smart meter grant?

The benefits that may qualify for an electric smart meter among other criteria are:

  • Child Benefits (based on household income)
  • Child Tax Credits (CTC)
  • Housing Benefit NEW
  • Income based Jobseekers allowance (JSA)
  • Income related Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income Support (IS)
  • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • Pension Credit Savings Credit NEW
  • Universal Credit (UC)
  • Warm Homes Discount Scheme
  • Working Tax Credit (WTC)

Is it worth getting a smart meter?


A smart meter is a modern and efficient way of managing your electricity bills while being aware of the ongoing changes in the electricity market.

You’ll no longer need to take manual meter readings with an electric smart meter as these provide automatic meter readings and it gets passed onto your electricity supplier, who will predict exactly how much energy you’ll use for your bill (you could pay this via smart pay).

UKES works alongside particular energy suppliers to bring free electric meters to you and your home. This will help you to save energy over time without raising your bills or relying on a gas meter.

Should I get a smart meter?

A smart meter is ideal for you if you want to be aware of your energy bills and what uses the most electricity in your home.

You can adopt energy efficiency measures much more easily when you know what costs the most, as you can then adjust your usage accordingly.

Smart functionality in modern electric meters means you can track what is costing you the most in your spending.

It also helps you to be ready for possible price increases as the market changes with more approximate bills, all through a simple in-home display.

How to get a smart meter for FREE?

You need to meet certain eligibility criteria to get a smart meter for free.

This is because the ECO scheme aims to provide energy-efficient heating measures instead of traditional meters to low-income and vulnerable households to lower the UK’s carbon footprint to zero by 2050. This is also why energy UK solar panels and electric cars are becoming more prevalent.

Improved energy efficiency heater is a proven way to reduce carbon emissions, especially if you’re aware of how much energy you use. The smart meter rollout across the UK is one of the many methods of improving energy use via your energy provider.

Apply today with UKES to learn more about smart meters and how to get a smart meter for FREE!

eco4 energy company obligation document2

How do I get a government grant for smart meters?

There are many criteria you need to meet in order to get a government grant for smart meters installed.

To check if qualify for the ECO4 grant you can apply below.

You can get more information on how to read a smart electric meter with this article from Citizens Advice.

For efficient energy advice and smart energy GB, visit the Energy Saving Trust website.

It is now a requirement for all energy companies to offer smart meters to their customers. You don’t have to take it if you don’t want one, but we recommend you take advantage of a free smart meter sooner rather than later.

Dont's wait, apply for a smart meter today!

The ECO4 grant is now available for a limited period of time. Hurry if you want to benefit from a FREE smart meter installation and other energy efficiency improvments.