Unless you are a hermit living in a cave somewhere, you can’t have failed to notice that there’s a big campaign at the moment to encourage people to switch over to smart meters. The main premise of this is that they can save you money on your energy bills. What exactly is a smart meter, and what are the pros and cons?
What is a smart meter?
As of June 2018, there were more than 12 million smart meters installed in the UK. The government’s target is that all homes should have them by 2020. Many people equate smart meters with the little monitor that sits on your sideboard and glows red when you switch on the kettle, but that’s only part of the story.
The meter part is also important because unlike an old-fashioned meter, a smart one can talk to the energy supplier via the mobile phone network. This means it can send in its own readings so you will no longer get those little postcards to tell you that the meter reader called when you were out. The big advantage is that you’ll never get estimated bills again; you’ll only pay for what you use.
As smart meters become more widespread, they give the energy suppliers the ability to vary rates according to demand. You may be able to save by running your dishwasher at night, for example.
A smart meter can’t save you energy by itself. It can, however, help you change your behavior thanks to that little monitor. You can see which appliances use the most power and change your behavior accordingly. This also offers an incentive to have your boiler repair Gloucester has many companies offering this service, carried out in a timely manner to ensure it’s working efficiently. Once they’ve had their Boiler Repair Gloucester, smart meter owners can then see how much gas they’re saving.
There are some concerns, however. First, if you switch suppliers, your smart meter may cease to work. There are security worries as an unscrupulous person with access to the meter data may be able to work out when you are regularly out of the house. Suppliers should offer you a choice of upload frequencies. If you are worried about security, select daily rather than hourly.