By 2020, a new type of meter called ‘smart meters’ are to be installed in every UK home – but you might be wondering what exactly is a smart meter, and how it could be of benefit to you. This article will explain more about smart meters and how they could make a difference to your energy bills.
Sometime between now and 2020, a smart meter will replace your existing meter, and will be able to automatically send electronic readings to your energy supplier; no more home visits, and in most cases, all you have to do is install and forget about it. They work for both gas and electricity suppliers.
How do they work?
Smart meters communicate directly with your gas and electricity supplier, so they’ll always be provided with an accurate meter reading without having to organise annoying visits or having to read the meter and send in the reading yourself. These meters can work in a few different ways; for instance, some of them contain a built-in SIM card (like you’d find in a mobile phone) in order to send its meetings, while others operate via long-range radio.
Benefits of a smart meter
The two main benefits of having a smart meter are: no home visits or having to send in readings yourself, and accurate readings – meaning you’ll never have to deal with estimated bills again, and you won’t have to worry about over or underpaying.
Will a smart meter save me money?
Although having a smart meter won’t necessarily save you money, it may come with smart added extras, such as software or an energy monitor, that actually could. It would do this by letting you determine how much energy you are using at particular times of the day, and helping you understand how you could make your home more energy efficient. They also help your energy supplier run more efficiently, leading to lower electricity bills as a result.
By giving energy companies a more accurate idea of how much energy is being used nationwide, and when it is needed, they will be more likely to provide the right amount of energy. So, it’s really beneficial in many ways, and could even lead to the introduction of more innovative energy tariffs or plans which better suit your energy needs – which is very important when it comes to calculating your energy prices.
Can smart meters work alongside home-generated renewable energy?
Although you can’t record your energy consumption generated by your home (i.e. renewable energy sources) with a traditional meter, you will be able to measure how much energy you produce when using a smart meter. It can also help you calculate whether you have a surplus that you could even sell back to the grid. Now, isn’t that smart?
How can you get a smart meter installed installed in your home?
You may have to wait a while yet, as the roll-out for smart meters is due to start in Autumn 2015, but if you want to find out more, why not contact your gas and electricity supplier?
I am a copywriter who specialises in technology and energy related issues. I have a BA(hons) and in my professional capacity I currently work for an agency in London writing energy and technology related articles.