Smart meters measure how much gas and electricity you’re using, as well as what it’s costing you, and can show this information to you on an in–home display. Furthermore, smart meters automatically and wirelessly send the readings to your energy supplier at least once a month, so you will receive accurate, not estimated bills.
They can also help you save money by showing you what you are paying, so you can adjust how you use energy and when. For example, you may choose to use more energy when your energy tariff is at its cheapest like overnight, if you are on this type of tariff from your energy supplier.
However, monitoring your energy consumption should not stop you from using energy when you need it for heating and cooking.
Some people also worry about the safety of their data. The data collected by the meter is protected by law.
Smart meters are free and installed by your energy supplier. If you live in England, Scotland or Wales you can either ask to upgrade to one, or you may be contacted by your supplier automatically to see if you would like a smart meter. The cost of the meter roll out is spread out over everyone’s bills.
If you install a new smart meter make sure it is SMETS2, which means you can switch energy suppliers without any interruption to your energy readings, bill payments or gas and electricity supply. It can also take export meter readings if required.
If you already have a SMETS1 meter installed then you may need to send in your meter readings in order to get an accurate bill following a switch of your energy supplier. You can find out more about smart meters on Ofgem’s website here.
Or on Smart Energy GB’s website who is government backed and whose role it is to inform the British public about smart meters.