UK finds smart new weapon against energy price rises

A smarter way to measure energy?

gas Electricity Smart Meter

A new report from British Gas claims the smart-meter roll-out will save households an average £65 a year.

The report, published today by British Gas and Oxford Economics, states that Britain will be almost £14 billion better off thanks to the introduction of smart meters to British homes and businesses. It claims that while smart meters will initially cost around £11.5 bn to roll-out, the benefits could come to £25.3bn. These savings will include: – £11.2 billion from consumer energy. 

The report estimates that households and businesses will use less energy thanks to the greater control and transparency around energy use offered by  smart meters. – £10.7 billion from greater efficiency for energy suppliers.

It also predicts that energy savings will be passed on by energy companies to consumers in the forms of bill reductions.  - £3.2 billion from generation related savings. Furthermore, the report predicts that lower energy usage will lead to savings from carbon reductions in traded and non-traded energy sectors.

Smart meters are a new kind of energy meter that send electronic meter readings to your energy supplier automatically, and are due to be rolled out across all households by 2020.

What we say

Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch welcomed the report, calling it a ‘first step in opening up the debate about smart meters’: “It’s the first time that there has been any real analysis to demonstrate that smart metering will save householders money – consumers will be reassured that smart meters could help save £65 a year off the average household energy bill.

“However, many of the benefits highlighted in the report rely on consumers changing their behaviour – our research shows that less than half of consumers know what a smart meter is (45%) while just over a third (35%) have heard of them but have no idea what they do.

“If consumers are to fully realise the cost savings, they can no longer be kept in the dark. This report has to herald the start of consumer engagement and education otherwise, instead of being a game-changer, smart metering will fall flat on its face.”

Get smart

Smart meters – Learn all about smart meters, from how they will save you money to how to get one installed.

Join the conversation

  • WMW

    Another saturation technical solution to a non-existent problem which will be subverted by the users – worries over privacy – most consumers don’t even understand how a simple thermostat works – 5 minute novelty only for interested users ….. Data already available in suppliers systems. Economy come from updating insulatiom, better design of new domestic equipment and energy efficient design of new buildings. These tecnologies can work as they do not rely on making behavioral change across a large population.

  • John

    This is also a spy in the home as it transmits effectively details of your movements.

    The Americans HATE IT.

    big brother is slowly creeping into every room in our homes.

  • Alistair Kewish

    It is an odd thing, but some months ago, I discovered a fairly sinister fact about television watching in the US. Each such device apparently comes fitted with a monitor that ‘snoops’ on the viewers in that it collects information about which channel is being watched and for how long. If this is not a further example of ‘Big Brother’ aka George Orwell’s horrific vision of a not-so-distant future, then I don’t know what is.

  • http://BelfastTelgraph Edward

    Eon wanted me to fit one of these but I told them where to shove it!! I do not
    want a third party to know which rooms i spend most of my time in, what time
    I get home etc etc.. Also I do not want a bloody radio transmitter blasting out
    radio waves 24/7 which the customer ultimately has to pay for!! A complete con,
    anyone with half a brain knows how to save energy, turn your heat down or turn
    your electrical appliances it off!

  • Zordana

    Don’t you believe it – it’s dangerous and just a spy meter. I’ve been in touch with BG and the bull they spew is criminal. They think we haven’t done our homework but more and more people are joining the protest against these monsters. I will also join any class action law suit.
    I have told all of them that i will never have one in my house, i’m already ill and if they try it will be a criminal act against me…that’s they way i see it.
    Smart meters are just plain dumb.,they are lying about the effect of these on people and the reasons and they should be made to come clean.
    It’s all part of the New World Order evil, controlling agenda…don’t let them get away with it.

  • pbecke

    ‘t also predicts that energy savings will be passed on by energy companies to consumers in the forms of bill reductions.’

    Wanna bet?

  • nick

    smart meter are a way of remotely reading a meter therefore doing away with meter readers less staff = bigger savings by energy companys cheaper energy for consumers no just bigger profits for shareholders privatisation has ruined the utilities too late now thanks maggie

  • Fennyuk

    For years our bills have gone up by 10-15% per year. We have been promised smart meters for at least 5 years, but nothing has happened. We have been told that the record profits energy companies post each year are being ploughed back into new and more efficient power stations, but I have yet to see a new power station being built. When will the power companies stop lying and let us see where our money is going, other than into the CEO’s pocket? A smart meter is really only going to cost us more to pay for the installation.

    • thepauleh

      Pembroke opened 2 months ago – but then us nPower customers are paying that back now with another 10% rise.. and they told me i was ‘fixed rate’….. I’d only just made my first payment when I got the letter through

      • Fennyuk

        If you’re on a fixed rate and they put the prices up, raise an issue with customer service. If they can’t resolve it within 8 weeks, you can complain to Ofgem.

        I’m with npower and they will take every liberty possible unless you deal firmly with them. They tried to charge me for £20 of gas I’d already paid for by getting the opening reading wrong, then took 8 months to get the bill correct. Watch out for their automated computer calculations of your monthly payments every 6 months and ring up and get them to reduce them to a proper amount.

  • Anteaus

    Perhaps it hasn’t occurred to people that a meter can’t actually save energy, it can only tell you how much you are using. Which, you could determine anyway. Plus, someone has to pay for all these new meters. Have a guess who.

    No. The real objective here is to establish the basis for controlling future ‘smart’ appliances, so the utility company can dictate when your washing is done or when you can use your shower. This is to cater for the realization that renewable energy is intrinsically unreliable, thus the only way to prevent blackouts is to dictate to the public what they can and cannot do with electricity, on a realtime basis.

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.martinsmith.3 Michael Martin-Smith

    What consumers need is a drastic reduction in the cost of energy- this is best achieved by opening up energy supplies to a no-holds barred price war, with companies unable to reduce prices by double figure precentages each year for the next few years being allowed to go to the wall. Mere metering will NOT achieve this. We badly need a “Moore’s Law” applied to energy costs- it works with I.T

  • readytoimmigrate

    I have had smart meters since 2009. Did not want them, but was informed that they were (legislated) mandatory, and that if I did not let the utility provider in my home to install them, they would get the Bailiffs to force entry and install them anyway. As a parting gift, I would be then be responsible for costs to locks repairs. Having them has made NO reduction in either my energy use or costs. In 2009 it cost me 12 quid a week to heat my flat. In 2012 the cost has risen to 50 quid per week. The report from British Gas and their statements is complete rubbish.

  • robbinhood

    How can we save money with smart meters,The meters will not save you a penny their having a laugh,When we the customer have to pay £11.5 bn on our bills to have them put in, Here we go again rob the poor to pay the rich

  • Alan

    it’s time all utlity companies were nationalised with only a set profit for improvements If the profit is exceeded then it is credited to the consumer

  • JonCa

    There is nothin new about this. BT developed and implemented a system to allow remote readings of meters many years ago, These meters would have been the inaugural smart meters of today. Unfortunately the energy regulator back-tracked and removed the requirement for such cost reducing enablers to be implemented. The business driver was gone. It seems it has taken the more recent high energy costs for the suppliers to take steps to placate their customers after all if I spend many hundreds of pounds with you why cannot you provide me with better data about my spend..

    • Bob

      How do they transfer the readings? Via my broadband i guess. Which means I have to leave the router switched on using more power! Lol
      And i guess the transfers are using my monthly allowance as well…

  • J IMMY HOLLYWOOD

    sounds great BUT by 2020 that saving of £65, now will have disappeared ,and guessing by todays energy increases the bills will have gone up at least by 50% in 2020, think the people who said could save live in cuckoo land ,NOTHING IN THIS WORLD COMES DOWN .

  • http://twitter.com/UMelville Edward melville

    remember the smart meters are read automaticly ..so if you donot pay your bill they can be turn off remotely ……that smart for the energy suppliers…..

  • Chareles of Bristol

    Readers please take care. £14billion better off probably depends upon the assumed interest rate used to discount future savings against current costs. The present Treasury rate is 3.5% (real). Do you or I borrow money off the shelf today for 3.5% except possibly on a mortgage?

  • r

    smart meters radiate your house so you get headaches all the time, they can cause fires which your house insurers won’t insure , and your bills go up by triple,. thats the history of smart meters.. you can get some kind of fabric though and cover them up and get no radiation…and no bills!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! yay!

    • WirelessHuman

      What a load of rubbish.

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