The in-home display unit (above), which is bigger than a mobile phone but smaller than an iPad, helps you identify which machines are eating up power, so that you can work out where you could make changes to save money – it could be as simple as plugging the gaps between floorboards, or replacing an old electric blanket – the modern versions, switched on for half an hour before bed, use less electricity than filling a hot water bottle.
You will no longer need to take meter readings – which can involve crawling into an understairs cupboard – and you will pay only for what you use, rather than be faced with an estimated bill.
The Government has set a target of reaching net zero carbon by 2050. To do this, we all need to be more aware of the energy we use, and our national system needs to be updated. It has been estimated that by taking action now, households could cut the total volume of emissions by 11% – a big step towards reaching that 2050 goal. We can no longer rely on fossil fuels. Renewables are the future – a sustainable one for our children and grandchildren, who will thank us for it. Smart meters are one piece of the jigsaw that will help us to tackle climate change.
Read on to discover how the simple act of installing a smart meter can make a real difference to our energy network and help you reduce your bills.
Case study: Marilyn leads a green life in Ipswich
‘My husband and I have a very energy efficient and eco-conscious home. We already have solar panels, an electric car and a time-of-use tariff for our gas and electric, so getting a smart meter was a natural progression. It’s made things so much easier – no longer having to submit meter readings or having to deal with estimated bills is great.
When you have an electric car, it’s useful to have a smart meter as you can understand exactly how much you’re spending on running the vehicle. It also enables us to opt for time-of-use tariffs, which charge us differently depending on the time of day. This means we can charge our car when demand for energy is lowest and therefore cheapest. It’s made caring for my relative with dementia much easier. We help her with tasks she would find difficult, one of which has been managing her energy bills as she finds it tricky remembering to send meter readings. After we took over her bills we decided to have one installed in her property. Now, we know that the readings are being sent remotely and we don’t worry that she’ll let strangers into her house thinking they’re a meter reader.
We look after the energy bills of an old family friend, too, and we’re hoping to get a smart meter installed for her as well. At the moment, we have to take the meter readings ourselves, otherwise her bills won’t be accurate and she could be over- or under-paying. She does worry about getting into debt with her energy usage. If she got a smart meter she would have less to worry about as her bills would be accurate and reliable. It would be a lot easier on us too!’
smartenergyGB.org Smart Energy GB is the campaign for a smarter Britain. It’s our task to help everyone in Great Britain understand smart meters, the national rollout and how to use their new meters to be cleaner and greener with their energy use.
Find out how to get a smart meter
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