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Our guide to saving energy with a Smart Meter

Posted by: Sue Kemp on 5th July 2018

We are hearing more about Smart Meters and the roll-out plans. But what are they and can they save you money?

In 2016 the UK Government, along with several others around the world, committed to reducing carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. This means we have to cut energy waste. To do this the government set a target for all UK homes to have a smart meter by 2020.

The smart meter will tell you, in real time, how much energy you are using and how much it is costing you. The introduction of smart meters in every property across Britain by 2020 should help us all to better control and reduce our energy use, saving us all money at the same time. So, what are what are smart meters and how do I get one?

What are Smart Meters?

Today most households have a meter that measures energy use. People periodically take readings and phone them through to their energy providers. If no readings are provided, energy suppliers often estimate readings to produce bills. Smart meters will bring an end to this.

A smart meter measures your energy use, with the main difference being that it automatically sends your usage information, in real-time, to your supplier. These meters will come with an in-home display (IHD). This allows you to see how much energy you are using and the cost.

The in-home display will show you:

  • How much energy you are using in real-time.
  • How much energy was used in the last hour, week, and month (and what it cost).
  • Whether your electricity use is high, medium or low.
  • Updates in real time for electricity and every half hour for gas.

If you have a prepay meter, it will also show:

  • How much credit you have left.
  • How much emergency credit you have.
  • Your debt balance (if you have one).
  • If your credit’s getting low.

Between 2016 and 2020, energy suppliers will be replacing every meter in Great Britain. In total, this means 53 million meters need to be replaced at a cost of £11bn. At the start of 2018 around 11 million smart meters have been installed.

How do I get a Smart meter?

Everyone will be offered an upgrade to a smart meter by their energy supplier before 2020 at no extra cost. However, the £215 cost of meters for each address, and the setup costs and the maintenance of the meter network, will be spread across your energy bills. Your traditional gas and electric meters will be replaced with smart meters which send your meter readings to your energy supplier. You will also receive an in-home display which will show you how much energy you’re using.

Gas & Electricity are with separate providers – do I needs two smart meters?

If your property has electricity and gas then you will need smart meters for both. If you’re a dual-fuel customer, your supplier will aim to install both meters on the same visit to make things as easy as possible. You will only need one in-home display to view both your gas and electricity usage. If your gas and electricity accounts are with different suppliers, you will have two separate smart meter installations. You will still be able to switch energy provider.

For all your heating and plumbing needs, please contact us.

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