Skip to main content

British Gas: How a smart meter can help you save money


What is a Smart Meter?

Traditionally, meters sit under your stairs or in the garage and are only disturbed when you or the meter reader comes to take a reading. Well, at first sight, smart meters don’t look a whole lot different…but are worlds apart!

Smart meters replace your current gas and electricity meters and, like their conventional cousins, they sit in infrequently visited locations, but now they’re not even disturbed by meter readers. This is because these clever meters send automatic reads to your utility provider and communicate to a Smart Energy Monitor, which gives you an instant view of your energy consumption.

 What is a Smart Energy Monitor?

How does it work? Easy: communicating wirelessly with the smart meter, the Smart Energy Monitor displays near-real time information on energy usage, cost and CO2 generation for both gas and electricity enabling you to see the energy you are using as you use it, in pounds and pence, putting you in control of your consumption. This enables you to make choices to be more efficient and save money on your energy bills.

A Smart Energy Monitor (like the one you see below) helps you see for the first time how much energy you’re using and what it’s costing you.

 British Gas' energy monitor, the "Pebble"

What are the benefits?

The “smart revolution” is the biggest infrastructure programme in the UK since the 1970’s, when the nation switched from coal to natural gas as main fuel. So what does that mean for customers? The key benefits of smart meters come under four areas:

Accurate bills

Smart meters take the guesswork out of managing your energy. You can say goodbye to frustrating estimated bills: when you receive your bill you know that you are only paying for what you’ve used.

Control and choice

You can view energy usage via a user friendly Smart Energy Monitor, online or on your phone through an application. Control brings choice, which brings the opportunity to reduce energy consumption and make savings.

Easy budgeting

Information allows you to understand energy usage like never before as you can compare daily, weekly and monthly costs. Once you learn about your usage patterns and which appliances are costing you the most, you can foresee consumption and budget for your billing period.

Peace of mind

Meter readings are sent to your supplier automatically so you don’t have to worry about doing it yourself or having someone from your energy company coming around to do the reading.


And what’s the bigger picture?

Smart meters certainly save individual households money, but they can also help cut amounts of carbon dioxide from the national emissions.

Dean Keeling, Managing Director for Smart Homes at British Gas, says: “The accuracy that smart meters provide lets us forecast energy usage throughout the day, across the country. This means we can become more efficient in how we generate the nation’s power, producing cleaner, greener electricity.”

The see “at a glance” Smart Energy Monitor, along with other smart energy solutions, such as solar panels and electric vehicle charging points come together to give consumers in the UK the convenience and power to create a more sustainable energy lifestyle.

If you want to know more about British Gas’s smart meters, download the British Gas customer charter.


Want to find out more? Tune in next week when British Gas a few surprising facts about smart meters and when the country will be ‘going smart’.

  • Robert Stand

    The theory as descibed above is fine. But “You can say goodbye to frustrating
    estimated bills” is far from the truth. My gas bill has now been (under)estimated for the last fifteen months, and I can get no replies to my letters to First Utility pointing this out. I now probably owe at least £600 more than has been billed! I fear that my current attempt to switch to another supplier will meet obstacles as a result.

  • M.T. Offiler

    In theory, such meters offer the opportunity to have off peak tariffs. At present, if you have off peak (Economy 7), you loose a lot of the benefit because the on-peak tariff is a lot higher. If we automatically had lower prices at off peak times without being penalised at peak times, it would be a good motivation to plan electricity use, especially for washing machines and dishwashers. This would save us money and spread electricity use more evenly across the day, thus benefiting the supply industry. A win-win situation.

  • Michelle Chapman

    What does the red triangle with exclamation mark mean on a smart meter.

    • Hi Michelle
      I’m not sure; the best course of action is to contact your supplier to ensure the meter is working properly.

  • Bill at No.21

    What does the red triangle with exclamation mark mean on a smart meter?