The archaic system of giving meter readings and/or relying on estimated bills is set to be eradicated by the end of 2020, as the national smart meter rollout has already begun, with over 2million smart meters installed to date.
For standard meter customers, this puts an end to manually giving readings to your supplier, as the information is sent over from the meter in real-time.
For prepayment customers, smart meters come with the potential to top up electronically via an app or online, and even switch to a credit tariff remotely.
Smart meters helping to save
According to Smart Energy GB, those who have received their smart meters are already starting to notice the benefits.
Smart Energy GB’s latest smart energy outlook report is a survey of 10,000 people around the country; it’s the largest independent barometer into public opinion of energy and smart meters.
The ability to view real-time energy spend information on a display or app connected to a smart meter means households are able to see how much they’re spending, make adjustments to their usage, and see the pounds and pence difference in real-time.
The findings of the survey suggest that more than half (52%) of people with smart meters acknowledge that their new meter is helping them to save money.
85% of those with smart meters say they have a better understanding of what they are spending on energy. This has led to popular ways of reducing usage being turning off lights (55%), and turning down heating (52%) — influenced by viewing pounds and pence spending in real-time.
Commenting on the findings, Sacha Deshmukh, Chief Executive of Smart Energy GB said:
“Millions of people are benefiting from smart meters and are using them to help save money. People with smart meters are better informed about how much gas and electricity they are using and more in control of their energy use.
“We are still in the early stages of this national upgrade but those who have smart meters already are seeing a transformation. This year will see even more households and small businesses upgrade to smart meters.”
79% would recommend smart meters to others
People with smart meters are more confident in the accuracy of their bills (81 %) when compared to those with traditional meters (64%), and this is reflected in the fact that they would recommend having a smart meter to others.
This rollout is led by energy suppliers, meaning everyone will be approached with a smart meter for the gas and electricity in their home.
Although every household in England, Scotland and Wales will be offered a smart meter, people are able to reject one and continue using their standard “dumb” meters — but they’ll have to carry on with the manual meter readings and estimated bills that come with them.