Gaining Green

How Smart Meters are so Smart and Why they’re so Popular

Smart Meters this, smart meters that… It’s all we are hearing about at the moment, but what are Smart Meters, and why are they proving so popular in the UK?

We tasked our Energy Analyst to research the market, gain some quotes and really look at the benefits of smart meters and how they will help customers in the UK save money.

So, let’s begin, below we have listed the most frequent questions and answered them as concisely as possible;

What are Smart Meters?

Smart Meters are the latest energy innovation in the UK, to help consumers see their homes energy usage in live time. Smart meters are there to replace the antiquated dumb meters, which will in turn do away with the days of estimated billing. Which has year on year shown that it costs consumers billions each year in overcharges. Smart Meters communicate through the technology interface, back to the utility in live time. Customers are usually provided with an In Home Display or IHD unit, that shows you how much you are spending in live time.

Who is Installing Smart Meters?

Utilities are obligated under UK legislation to install 53 Million smart meters by 2020, which means every home will have a smart meter by 2020. Utilities such as British Gas who has recently completed it’s 1,000,000 smart meter install, SSE who has completed 250,000+ Smart meter installs, Npower and many more are tasked to install these under the legislation through it’s own network of installation teams.

There are a number of smart meter installers such as Access Install, who is also a Meter Operator Provider (MoP) who currently agreed a substantial smart meter rollout by 2017. There’s a huge concern that there is a shortage of Smart Meter Installers in the UK, meaning that the rollout may take longer than agreed.

How big are the Smart Meters?

Smart Meters simply replace your old ‘dumb’ meters, they are around the same size and take between 1-2 hours to install. A recent Uswitch article, informed the general public that 80% of people recommend smart meters to new customers.

Do Smart Meters save me money?

Yes, smart meters are designed to track your energy usage in real time. Feeding this information back to the utility company you currently buy your electric and gas from. A Uswitch pole showed that 52% of people are seeing their energy bills lower, due to the installation of a smart meter in their home. There has been a lot of negative press banded about regarding smart meters, we asked for comment from various news providers on the facts and statistics behind the claims, none have replied.

How do I get a smart meter?

Smart Meters are readily available from your energy company, as all energy companies in the UK are obligated to install the smart meters in every home by 2020. You can request your Free smart meter from your utility company, many utility companies however are at different stages with the rollout of their smart meter programmes, so please do not be suprised if your energy provider schedules your smart meter installation in the near future.

If you have any thoughts on our article we would love to see your comments and feedback. How have your experiences compared with surveys taken by Uswitch?