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Smart meters measure how much energy your household is using in real time, and what it costs you. This means no more manual meter readings as with traditional gas and electricity meters, and the end of estimated bills. The smart meter will measure your energy use and automatically send your usage information through to your supplier.
A smart meter will mean that meter readings, the cost of which is passed on to you, the customer, will no longer be necessary. The government estimates that the smart meter roll-out will save energy companies about £8bn over 18 years, which will then be passed on to consumers.
Your smart meter will come with a smart electricity meter, a smart gas meter and an in-home display (IHD) to show you how much energy you are using. The gas smart meter is battery-powered and will give you a reading every half an hour. The electricity smart meter is mains connected and gives up-to-the-minute readings. The information for both is sent periodically to the energy provider.
The more accurate billing system provided by the smart meters will mean that you pay only for what they use, helping you to control your energy usage. It is predicted that consumers will reduce their electricity usage by around 2.8% and gas use by around 2% on average simply by being more aware of their consumption via the in-home display, and reduce their energy usage accordingly. The idea is that people with a smart meter have a better idea of their energy costs and can use the information to help them make positive changes, regarding their energy usage, such as turning lights off when they’re not needed and take steps to reduce their energy use at home. So by using a smart meter you could be saving ££s on electricity and gas bills each year.
On a bigger scale, the smart meters mean that energy network operators are also able to access the data collected by the smart meters and as such can monitor and predict power usage more effectively, and better plan for Britain’s energy needs.
We’ll all be offered a smart meter by 2020, but you could get yours sooner if you get in contact with your energy supplier. Contact yours directly to see if you can get a smart meter fitted now.
We’re all entitled to a smart meter. Between 2016 and 2020, energy companies will replace every meter in Great Britain. This equates to around 53 million smart meters in more than 30 million premises. The programme is already underway, so if you haven’t been contacted by your energy provider yet, you soon will be.