The energy smart meter rollout is well underway, with more than 12 million devices already in homes — find out if upgrading to a smart meter will save you money on your energy bills
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When “savings” and “smart meters” are mentioned together as a reason to upgrade your meter, there are generally two different savings being referenced:
- Savings on your energy consumption
- Savings on your energy bill costs
While the two are of course linked, the question is how much would you save on either if you changed from a standard meter to an energy smart meter?
uSwitch takes a look at the research available to help answer that question.
Smart meter energy savings
Smart Energy GB, the organisation that runs the awareness campaign for the national roll out, put out a report in May 2019 that found that 85% of smart meter households made changes to their behaviour that resulted in making an energy saving.
Those surveyed reported finding the in-home display valuable in understanding how their behaviour — such boiling the kettle or running the dishwasher — impacts their consumption in real-time.
A smart meter’s in home display also computes that consumption into pounds and pence by linking it to your household’s energy tariff.
So, if you are paying 16 pence per kWh of electricity, and have a daily standing charge of 22 pence, and use 2 kWh to boil the kettle several times a day, your smart meter in home display will calculate this activity into an easy-to-understand, pounds-and-pence figure you can view daily, weekly or monthly.
The aim in providing this visibility is that households will change their daily behaviour based on a new level of understanding of how that behaviour impacts their consumption and their costs.
Smart meter energy bills savings
There are a few ways that smart meters could help you save on your energy bill costs.
Firstly, as mentioned, by adjusting your behaviour to use less energy day-to-day based on feedback received from your smart meter’s in home display, you may find savings on your bill.
Smart Energy GB have calculated that, collectively, the savings could be as much as £560 million if everyone in Britain changed to a smart meter.
This savings figures was further broken down regionally as part of their summer campaign to promote the benefits of upgrading to a smart meter, with the following results:
- Londoners could save up to £69.6 million a year if each household (583,083 homes) had a smart meter installed
- Scotland could save as much as £51.1 million a year if each household (544,719 homes) had a smart meter installed
- West Midlands households could save as much as £49.1 million a year if each household (585,694 homes) had a smart meter installed
The above numbers were calculated by Smart Energy GB based on a 2% average energy consumption saving per household per year, which equates to £21.17 when calculated in line with fuel prices published by the Energy Saving Trust in March 2018. This is then multiplied by the number of households per region, which was then rounded.
Secondly, by automatically sending your meter readings, your supplier won’t have to rely on estimated consumption and you’ll be paying only for what you actually use.
By switching from estimated billing to more accurate energy bills, you could avoid shock bills at a future date.