Households have been warned how they can spot potentially faulty smart energy meters.

It is estimated that almost 4 million smart meters are not working properly, due to not entering ‘smart mode’.

Smart mode allows your meter to automatically send meter readings to your energy company.

James Longley, managing director of Utility Bidder, explained everything you need to know about how to spot a faulty smart meter, and why it is important you do.

What is 'smart mode’ and what happens if my meter isn’t set to this?

“Your meter is required to work in smart mode to automatically send meter readings to your suppliers, and if this isn’t working, then you would have to send meter readings to the supplier yourself.”

How will I know when there is a problem with my smart meter?

“You should be concerned if you receive an unexpected bill or if your total payments are higher than usual. However, your bills could still be correct if your in-home display is faulty. It is best to check your statement or energy company’s app to see if readings are from your ‘smart’ display.”

Do I have the right smart meter for my needs?

“Energy meters have an expiry date, known as a ‘certification date’. This can be anywhere from 10-30 years, and you should expect to be contacted by your energy supplier once this lifespan is due to expire. Older meters may require manual readings and risk uneven estimated bills. Newer smart meters, however, should offer automatic readings, accurate, timely bills, and easier monitoring of your energy usage.

What are the benefits of having a smart meter?

“Not everyone opts for a smart meter, but having such control over your readings can give you a greater range of tariff options. When the energy price cap drops, you may want to consider switching providers or your type of energy tariff if you want to get the most out of the new limits. You can check how often you send data to your energy provider, as often as every half hour, to receive more accurate pricing and find out where you can save money in your daily routine. Also, in the future, customers with smart metres are much more likely to qualify for the lower pricing that suppliers offer.”