An intelligent way to save money

Technology has become more than just a way of helping us. In fact, it has become an integral part of how we live and function. With the world embracing technology more and more, even the simplest household gadgets and objects are becoming smarter and more convenient. So why shouldn’t your household energy consumption follow suit?

Smart Meters – more than just a device

Smart meters are the latest innovation to help you control your energy consumption at home and reduce your monthly energy bill. While you may be wary about switching energy suppliers, or wondering what the cost of switching to a smart meter could be, or just plain confused about how your energy use is billed – we can tell you that the smart meters are an option well worth considering.

What is a smart meter?

A smart meter is a variation of a traditional meter that automatically records energy usage at 30-minute intervals. The biggest difference between them is that the data captured by smart meters can be remotely read by the supplier – you do not need to send the readings to a company, nor expect a visit from a person from the energy company at your house. Accurate meter readings are sent directly to your utility company, which then sends you a bill every month based on these readings.

What are the types of smart meters?

There are two types – first and second generation smart meters. These are also called SMETS (Smart Metering Equipment Technical Specification) 1 and SMETS 2.

The first generation of smart meters is slowly becoming obsolete and many households are opting for second generation ones. This is because switching energy suppliers is more inconvenient with a first generation mete. If you change suppliers and have a first gen smart meter installed, you will have to revert to submitting your meter readings to the new supplier manually (as you would with a traditional meter).

With second generation smart meters, even if you switch suppliers, the readings go directly to the new supplier who then bills you accordingly.

How do smart meters work?

Smart meters make use of a wireless network called the DCC (Data Communications Company) to send information to your supplier. Your supplier then determines the amount that needs to be paid in your monthly bill based on your actual energy usage, instead of estimating the amount based on your previous readings.

The setup for a smart meter includes both, the meter as well as an In-Home Display (IHD) that communicate wirelessly with each other and record your energy consumption data in a format that can be read easily. Some smart meters even offer additional functionalities like payment top-ups that can be done through the In-Home display.

Summarising simply, this is how smart meters work:

  1. The meter detects the amount of gas and electricity being used at frequent periodic intervals.
  2. The data is sent to the In-Home Display.
  3. This data is also transmitted to the Data Communication Company.
  4. The Data Communication Company then sends the information to your energy supplier.
  5. Your energy supplier calculates the amount to be paid based on your exact energy consumption and displays the information in your online account or mobile application.

Should you get a smart meter?

The government has announced that all households in the UK will be offered a smart meter by 2024. Most major suppliers already offer smart meters, so simply contact them and ask them about it.  Fortunately, smart meters only a take a couple of hours to install – you just need to set up an appointment with your company.

How much does a smart meter cost?

Most suppliers don’t charge an upfront fee for installing a smart meter on your premises. However, you may observe slightly higher energy bills in the first few months following your installation, since the cost of the installation and maintenance of the meter is subsided in your subsequent bills (similar to your traditional meter).

Can you save money with a smart meter?

A common misconception is that your energy bill automatically reduces with a smart meter. A smart meter will not directly save you money, but what it does is encourage you to be more responsible with your energy usage, thereby saving you money in the bargain. The reduction in your bill depends on how proactive you are in tracking your energy use via your In-Home Display, and taking the necessary steps to cut down on your energy consumption.

Why should you get a smart meter?

There are many reasons why a smart meter is a good choice for your home.

  • It eliminates the need of manual submission of bills
  • It lets you track your energy usage and expense
  • It provides you with more accurate bills based on recent usage
  • It highlights faulty or non-energy efficient appliances
  • You might benefit from cheaper energy deals if you have a smart meter installed

Switching energy suppliers

Switching energy suppliers does not have to be hard. In fact, you can choose to switch suppliers and get a smart meter at no additional cost, which will help you reduce your energy usage and pave the way for a greener future.

All you need is to find the best supplier for your needs.

At Energy Switching UK, we help you compare tariffs and find the best deal from a wide range of suppliers. We benchmark your current energy rates and compare them with others, giving you a complete picture of what you can expect from various suppliers, so that you can get the best deal. All you need to do tell us what you’re looking for and we’ll do the rest. So click here to switch to a smarter way of life.