News / Safe, secure and private: the smart meters protecting your data

Safe, secure and private: the smart meters protecting your data

29th June 2020

In the second post in our series, we’re looking at those smart meter myths which prey on fears about data security and the right to privacy.

Data privacy is a big concern, and rightly so; keeping your personal information safe is of paramount importance to us. Once again, we’ve enlisted our Director of Data & Data Science, Bjoern Reinke, to help us debunk these myths. Read on and become enlightened.

How safe is my energy consumption data?

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One of the myths that we’ve seen is that your smart meter and energy consumption data can be hacked. However, you’ve got nothing to worry about. Your smart meter will communicate with your energy supplier via the DCC.,

The Data Communications Company (DCC) has built and maintains the high-security network which smart meters use to send data to your energy supplier. The DCC, which is regulated by Ofgem, built this robust network with input from the government departments, DECC and BEIS, to ensure that the level of encryption used protects your energy consumption data from hackers and attackers.

Not even the DCC can read your electricity data. It’s encrypted before it reaches them and sent to your energy supplier without them being able to see it.

Will my energy usage data be sold to other companies?

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Your energy consumption data is treated like any other personal information: we respect it and treat it appropriately, and it will not be sold to other companies. Only the relevant energy consumption data is transmitted, and only your energy supplier can see it.

We’ll use your energy consumption data to ensure you’re being billed accurately. We’ll also use this data to help us to develop new products and services and may recommend you an alternative tariff.

Will my energy consumption data be used to work out my personal routines? // Are smart meters just “big Brother” devices, designed to impinge on privacy rights?

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While it’s true that smart meters provide much more detailed information to your energy supplier about your consumption, this information is only used to make sure you’re being accurately billed, and to help energy suppliers deliver innovative products and services.

To do this, your smart meter records your usage every 30 minutes, giving your supplier a much more detailed picture of your energy use. However, you can choose whether to share half-hourly, daily or monthly reads.

With access to your energy consumption data, you can see how your energy use changes throughout the day. This can help you to make behavioural changes - such as shifting your energy use to different times of day - can save you money and energy.

There’s always more to a headline than meets the eye. We hope Bjoern has been able to put your mind at ease about security, data and privacy. We’ll be back again soon with Bjoern to debunk some more smart meter myths.

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