Can A Smart Meter Save You Money? Discussed by the BPS Facilities Services
22.2 million smart meters have already been installed in the UK as part of the smart meter rollout. The installation of smart meters will work to support the UK’s transition to net-zero energy as well as save homeowners and businesses money on their energy costs.
What are the advantages of installing a smart meter in your home or business?
Smart Meters Save You Money
Having a smart meter installed in your home will help you save money on your energy bills by making you more aware of your energy consumption and charges at different times. As a result of being more aware, you can try different things to reduce your energy usage across your household.
You can use a smart meter to see how much electricity your home is using and track your usage over time, but there is no guarantee that you will save any money. The smart meter itself won’t save you money but your changes in habits and usage will.
How much you use the meter and the information it gives you to make changes will decide how much money you can save.
Taking the time to review your energy usage patterns and make changes will likely mean you will save some money but this relies on you checking it regularly and making changes to see the results.
UK Smart Meters
A smart meter records the electricity, gas, or water used in intervals of an hour or less and this information is sent to your utility provider’s central system hourly or daily.
A smart meter can communicate two-way with the central system. This allows your utility company to read the meter remotely and translate information to your in-house equipment such as displays, thermostats, demand response devices, and other appliances.
The UK government’s Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) consulted in 2010 on plans to roll out smart meters to all domestic customers by 2019. In the consultation, options for details of communications infrastructure, data security, consumer engagement, and benefit realisation were outlined. DECC released a Smart Metering Implementation Programme strategy document in December 2012, which detailed timetables, technical standards, communications infrastructure development plans and DECC’s delivery framework.
In order to meet the carbon budgets outlined in the Climate Change Act of 2008, the UK has set a target of reducing emissions by 80% from 1990 levels by 2050. By making homes more energy-efficient, it will reduce heat loss in winter and generate renewable electricity in the summer through solar panels. Using low carbon alternatives such as air source heat pumps instead of traditional fossil fuel heating systems reduces the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere for each unit of energy used.
The Purpose Of A Smart Meter
Smart meters are digital devices that record and track energy usage in a home or business. Smart meters track energy usage, giving users information that can help them save money and reduce their carbon footprint. By providing data on when and where electricity is being used, smart meters can also help utilities better manage power demand.
How Do Smart Meters Work?
In an electrical meter, smart features record the consumption of electricity in intervals of less than an hour and report this information to the utility at least daily for billing and monitoring.
In smart meters, there is two-way communication between the meter and the central system. Utility companies can remotely monitor electricity consumption in short intervals, usually hourly or less, without having to send someone out to each location.
They provide near real-time visibility of power quality parameters to help prevent problems before they happen.
A smart meter can provide consumers with valuable data that can help them save money on their energy bills and manage their energy use more effectively.
What Do Smart Meters Measure?
To accurately calculate how much electricity is consumed over time, smart meters measure voltage, current, and power going into and out of a home or business. Additionally, some may measure other aspects such as phase angle, frequency, and power factor to determine if equipment and systems are running efficiently.
How Do You Get A Smart Meter?
It is really easy to get a smart meter. You can ask for a smart meter if you are a customer of a gas or electricity provider in England, Scotland, or Wales.
The installation of a smart meter is free, and it usually takes less than an hour. To install the new meter, your energy supplier will need access to the inside of your property.
Contact your electricity or gas supplier directly to schedule the installation of your smart meter. They will send an engineer out at a time that’s convenient for you.
Benefits Of Installing A Smart Meter
You can save money on your energy bills by understanding your usage patterns and finding ways to reduce your usage through smart meters.
By reducing the amount of energy wasted by inefficient use, they support the environment.
If you have a smart meter, you are reassured that you are not overpaying for electricity and gas, as well as avoid the hassle of continually submitting meter readings by hand.
Having more accurate meter readings will also reduce the chance of being surprised with a large bill at the end of the year.
With a smart meter, you are assured that you are paying the right amount for your energy every month, rather than an estimate. During the transition from winter to summer, energy companies often do not reduce your bills. As a result, they hold your overpayments in their account rather than yours.
A smart meter may even provide additional features like real-time feedback on energy consumption, allowing you to make changes immediately if needed to reduce costs.
Smart Meter Summary
The number of smart meters installed in UK homes and businesses reached over 17 million by June 2019. Both consumers and businesses can benefit from smart meters, including:
Potential savings due to increased awareness of energy consumption
Accurate billing with the ability to monitor and manage energy use remotely
New services and applications, such as time-of-use tariffing, can be enabled by time-of-use technologies
Smart meters offer a range of benefits that can have a positive impact on energy efficiency and emissions reduction.
Our experts can assist you if you are considering a Smart Meter for your home or business and ensure you understand the benefits fully. Please call us today at 02922 407934 so that one of our Gas Safe engineers can visit your property and answer any questions you may have.