Research from uSwitch has shown that households which have smart meters are not only enjoying more accurate billing but are also more satisfied with their energy providers.
The survey revealed that 92% of households with a smart meter are happy to have it and a further 87% would recommend having one installed.
The findings suggest that recently voiced concerns regarding how the population would respond to a general rollout of smart meters are misplaced.
Cutting energy consumption and increasing confidence
An impressive 81% of those with a smart meter use it to monitor their energy use and cut down on overall consumption. Changes in behaviour include a greater likelihood of turning off lights (51%) and an increased understanding of what actions consume the most energy (41%). Half of the smart meter users surveyed are now confident that their energy bills are correct.
In addition, a correlation was found between smart meters and supplier satisfaction. Customer service, billing and energy efficiency were all highlighted as areas which consumers with a smart meter were more satisfied with. As a result, 12% of smart meter users trust their supplier more than before.
‘Accurate bills and greater protection from debt’
Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch, said: “This is the clearest evidence yet that smart meters will be a game-changer for consumers. Those who have a smart meter aren’t just enjoying accurate bills and greater protection from debt. They are also using their meters to cut their usage, which in turn will help them to cut their bills.
“Having a smart meter also seems to spark greater interest in other energy efficiency measures and this really is to be welcomed given the high cost of energy and the affordability issues we all face today.
“Moving from ‘dumb’ to ‘smart’ will fundamentally change how households view, manage and control their energy use. And, while smart meter users are more satisfied with their supplier, the most telling change is in trust – over one in ten smart meter customers say they now trust their supplier more. This suggests that accurate bills, support with energy efficiency and putting consumers in control will go a long way in rebuilding trust and confidence. Given where the industry is today, that has to be a good thing.”
About the survey
All findings stem from two branches of research: one with non-smart meter consumers and another with smart meter customers. The non-smart meter customers were surveyed as part of a wider study conducted by YouGov between 4 and 13 September 2013. In total 5,057 people took the survey and the figures were weighted. The non-smart meter sample was 1,433 respondents, from across the UK and all with E.ON and British Gas to enable a comparison with the smart meter user results.