By Lisa Brand
The smart meter is the next generation of a gas and electricity meter. Energy suppliers are installing them into every home in England, Scotland, and Wales and our energy system will be brought up to date using smart meter technology.
The idea behind them is to demonstrate to customers how they are consuming their energy and provide them with a better understanding so they can save money in the future on their energy bills and help them use energy more efficiently.
Smart meters communicate through a wireless network between your energy supplier and your home and will display on their in-home screen exactly how much energy you are consuming and will bring an end to estimated bills.
Why the Rollout?
As part of measures to tackle climate control and upgrade our energy systems, the European Union requested that all members of government look at smart meters. The British government decided that this was the way forward after an initial study, and are planning to upgrade our old energy systems by adopting smart meters.
Smart Meter Rollout
The government wants all energy suppliers in England, Wales and Scotland to replace all old existing gas and electricity meters with smart meters in every household by 2020. This is going to be a difficult goal to meet since there are over 26 million homes for the energy suppliers to provide to.
The smart meter rollout officially began in 2016, and the energy industry is going to find it a huge technical challenge to complete the national roll-out by 2020. To achieve this goal they are going to have to visit around 30 million small businesses and homes and install around 53 million new meters according to Which?
The government needs to confirm if the energy companies are going to achieve the 2020 goal and if so, this is going to mean that the energy companies are going to be working around the clock together to install 53m smart meters into every home and business on completion of the roll-out.
More than 8m smart meters have so far been installed in homes. In order to install the remaining meters on time will mean fitting roughly 250,000 in a week. This amounts to over 1.05m a month!
In order for the government to meet their 2020 target of 50 million installations, gas engineers are very much in high demand. This is a great opportunity for those new to the gas industry and existing engineers.
By becoming smart meter qualified you will be more desirable and well on your way to becoming employed by an energy provider.
Working in the smart meter industry is a great place to start your career as a gas engineer as you will gain lots of knowledge and experience.
Once qualified you could:
- Be a team leader
- Be self-employed with your own installation business
- Become an energy efficient consultant with further education and training
- Or move into gas engineering through an energy company
Working as a smart meter installer, you’ll be helping customers keep up-to-date on how much energy they are using by fitting gas or electric smart meters into businesses and homes.
You will be required to work Monday to Friday, 35-40 hours a week with possible overtime on weekends.
Your main duties might include:
- Visiting businesses or customer’s homes via an appointment
- Remove dated/existing meters
- Installing smart meters
- Ensure the meter works correctly by carrying out tests
- Show the customer how to use/read their new meter, how to modify the settings and how to get the best use from it.
- Provide the customer with independent energy efficient advice
- Completing and maintaining documentation as required
- Answer any questions the customer may have
You may work for a small firm who have been contracted to install smart meters or for a large energy company.
To work in this industry, you should be able to work well under pressure and have a clear understanding of the importance of health and safety and be able to easily solve problems. You will also need:
- A good ability in maths and science
- The ability to work alone
- The ability to work on your own initiative
- Be well organized
- Be self-motivated and committed to your career
- Good interpersonal skills
Smart meter installer salaries vary from company to company. However as a guide, the starting salary tends to start from £13,000 (as a trainee with no relevant qualifications), then £25,000 once you are experienced to £30,000+.
You may also receive mileage and expenses as part of your salary through certain companies.
Finding Smart Meter Installer Jobs
You can search for smart meter jobs through:
- Utility contractors
- Energy companies
- The housing association
- Specialist installation companies
Barrett-Bell Ltd specialise in delivering a full and varied range of Gas Installation and Maintenance courses, which meet the industry requirements for Gas Safe Registration for beginners, as well as experienced engineers within the gas industry to provide them with knowledge, skills, and experience necessary for a constructive career within the gas industry. Smart meter installation is covered as part of our course.
This is a licence to practice and will enable you to be on the Gas Safe Register and work in the UK, Isle of Man and Guernsey.
Our qualification does not limit our learners to smart meters alone. Our learners can progress from working on smart meters to other domestic gas appliances.
However, many of our learners have gone into smart meter careers on completion of our courses and are regularly being offered jobs by energy suppliers before they’ve completed the course.
Call 01923 253 866 for course details and bookings, where our qualified staff look forward to hearing from you.