This is a paid-for post on the smart meter rollout is in partnership with Smart Energy GB
Regular readers may remember that in October last year I wrote about Big Energy Saving Week. Here I discussed ways in which you can reduce your energy consumption and bills. As part of that post, I also talked about smart meters, and how they can help keep an eye on your energy consumption.
The good news is that smart meters are going to be offered to us all over the next few years, free of charge. So today I wanted to share some more information on them. I also wanted to share some research that has been released about how these meters are being received by those who have already upgraded to using smart meters.
What Are Smart Meters?
A smart meter is just like your normal gas and electricity meter. The only difference is that they transmit your actual meter readings direct to your supplier. This allows them to prepare an accurate bill, rather than an estimate. As part of the upgrade, you will be offered a display unit free of charge from your energy supplier. They have a legal obligation to offer you one, so you should be offered one in time.
The smart meter display unit will sit in your house. The handy thing is this unit will show you in near real-time how much energy you are using. Not only that but just how much your energy usage is costing you in pounds and pence.
As well as that, the good news is you won’t have to deal with any more estimated bills (no nasty surprises). There will also be no need for you to submit meter readings. This is especially handy if your meter is in an awkward place. And you will have no more unexpected callers asking to read the meter.
Do People Like Smart Meters?
Householders who already have them installed have reported good things. They have rated their smart meters massively higher than those still using the old analogue technology. Smart Energy GB surveyed over 10,000 people across the country. From the results, it is clear that overwhelmingly, people feel more in control of the energy they use. What’s more, they are saving money by using the display unit to monitor and reduce their consumption.
Here are some of the key facts from the survey:
- More than half (52%) of people with smart meters say their new meter is helping them save money.
- Eight in ten (80%) of people with a smart meter have taken at least one step to reduce how much energy they use.
- Eight in ten (79%) of people with a smart meter would recommend them to others.
- 85% of those using smart meters say they have a better understanding of what they are spending on energy.
- 81% of people using smart meters are more confident in the accuracy of their bills compared to those with traditional meters (64%).
- 75% of people with smart meters say that they understand their energy bills. Meanwhile just 61% of people using traditional meters said the same.
- Nearly three quarters (72%) of people with a smart meter say that they have the information they need to choose the right energy tariff. This is far higher than those with traditional meters (57%).
Does Having One Fitted Save Me Money?
The smart meter itself doesn’t save you money. However, by seeing your energy usage in real-time and the actual cost, the theory is it should nudge you along to stop wasting energy. Think how many times you have boiled a kettle only to walk away and then re-boil it a few minutes later when you remember. Hopefully, the meter will make you more aware of how much energy is involved in boiling a kettle. Hint – it’s a lot!
By being a very visible reminder that using energy costs money, the technology can help us all be more energy conscious. That can’t be a bad thing, can it?
Where Can I Get A Smart Meter
The good news is that Smart Meters come at no extra cost. This means your supplier will not make any charge for the device when they come to install it. They are paid for through our standing charge. This is in the same way that maintenance of analogue meters is paid for now.
Between now and 2020 every home and micro-business in England, Scotland, and Wales will be offered the chance to upgrade to a smart meter. Your energy supplier will get in touch with you when they are installing in your area, but you can preempt this by registering your interest by visiting your supplier’s website or giving them a call.