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52% say their smart meter is helping them to save money

Smart meters set out to give a clear picture of energy consumption in pounds and pence, and bring an end to estimated bills

smart meter display

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.


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  • Diana Gildersleve

    I have had a smart meter since Spring 2015 however I have to tell you that when I am told by my supplier that the last reading they obtained was August 2015 until February 2016 I have to say that they must be complete rubbish. Their system tells me what I am using daily, they are getting the data as well as me, so they too are aware of the numbers, but when you check the readings they only show one for August and one for February thus I am left owing them money. What a crock! What is that all about then?

    • tony
      read the article in the forum its an eye opener..i would say tell your energy company i want my old analogue unit back because the bills and charges are absolutely concocted by smart meters that are systematically designed to double the readings.

  • Christopher Hall

    Without checking whether an adequate mobile signal was available smart meters were fitted to our dual-fuel meters in April 2015. An extra aerial was fitted 8 months later – still no signal. Readings therefore still have to be submitted manually – read from small figures which scroll rapidly through complicated menus

    • Alistair Mackay

      They should have checked Mobile Signal as they were installing it. Two guys from E-On came to fit mine but couldnt do as the signal was too weak. It must be something they’re aware of now (well some of them). So the Smart Meter replaces the traditional numerical reading all together? Damn, didn’t know that, I thought it might in addition to.

      • Lauren Vasquez

        You can still see your consumption figures in kWh via the in home display. You just won’t need to crawl into a cupboard anymore to get it!

    • Lauren Vasquez

      Hi Christopher
      That’s unfortunate! By the end of the year, a secure, bespoke network will be in place for smart meters to use. This should get your smart meter working properly again!

  • tony
  • TONY

    The energy companies have created a device that severe damages your health also read the prison planet article proves that these smart meters are a massive con…dont have one installed ever…tell those fukers who come to your house that you have to have one installed…NO YOU DONT TELL EM YOU CAN SUCK ON IT AND THEN TELL EM MY HEALTH IS BAD I CANT HAVE THIS EVER…

  • Andrew

    Smart meters don’t help you save energy; they simply record what you’ve used. But they do report to energy companies every half hour, so energy companies can see whether you are regularly using energy – or not – at particular times of the day/week. Very helpful for burglars. I simply don’t want energy companies to know when I’m in or not.

    • Lauren Vasquez

      Hi Andrew
      You can choose how often your smart meter reports – quarterly, monthly, daily or as you mentioned, half hourly.
      The half hourly is designed to help you understand the direct impact of your lifestyle on your consumption and spend (via the in home display) and also helps networks understand demand and more efficiently support it (i.e. prevent blackouts or overloading the grid).
      However if you aren’t comfortable with half hourly you can choose the other options such as monthly.

  • Mick

    I’d love to have a smart-meter but unfortunately British Gas won’t install one for me yet as I have solar panels. They explained to me this week that they are still ironing out glitches which some properties have experienced when smart meters and solar lead to incorrect readings / billing. Until they are confident this won’t happen they aren’t including properties with solar in the roll-out.

    Properties with solar can probably benefit more than most from the real time info a smart meter can provide. I already plan my laundry and cooking around my solar generation where I can and i’d like to do it more.

    I’m glad though that they are making sure that problems don’t arise. When I had my solar installed two years ago I had to have a meter change when all my exported electricity was being added on to my imported use. It took me several weeks to convince my energy supplier (EDF at the time) that the meter was set up incorrectly rather than an incorrect solar installation as they tried to suggest.

  • Denise Treglown

    I had smart meters fitted in September 2014. It was several months before they both started working properly and so I continued to do monthly readings. Now I am changing supplier and the meters are not compatible so I will need to supply readings again. This is not easy with the gas meter which is at the bottom of a cupboard facing sideways. The scrolling numbers black on a green background are very hard to read. The new supplier will move the meter a short distance charging 84 pounds + VAT and materials.

  • Paul Mather

    I had a smart meter installed by eon. It couldn’t handle solar panels and after 6 or 7 years it still can’t . I moved to Robin Hood Energy , a local non profit step cheaper than eon. I can get meter readings on the remote control and email them to eon every month. I recommend Robin Hood energy as they arensmall, cheap and they answer the phone quickly. If the worst comes to the worst I can always catch a bus into the city and sort them out in real time.

  • Anne

    There’s no mention here of the detrimental effects of the electromagnetic waves caused by smart meters. You might wonder why Lloyds underwriters withdrew their backing for all insurance against claims of EMF damage to health or property caused by smart meters, cell phone towers smart appliances etc…information which hasn’t been broadcast widely in main stream media…I would have thought it was important, thought provoking, choice influencing, consumer news also worth a mention in Moneywise.

    • Alistair Mackay

      A tin foil hat?

  • concern

    could my smart meters be the reason for my hearing problem

  • Big

    Regrettably the spin by both uswitch and the energyco’s are economical with some indisputable facts
    O the original 1.7m smart meters have to be replaced or switched off if you move supplier
    O the consumer DOeS pay £200 for the meter, not upfront, but through time , the same as the consumer ultimately paid for Green Deal improvements as energyco’s had to increase bills to cover the costs
    O average payback is estimated to be £30 pa excluding inflation ie about 10 years
    O the payback will be be more then outweighed by the energyco’s plans to increase prices at peak usage whilst completely ignoring the fact that 100% of peak usage is driven by items under nobody’s control
    1- working hours (families are not going to start working in the evening or cook during the day)
    2- weather patterns ( families are not going to turn heat down during cold spells)
    3- daylight hours ( as 1 above)

    O finally , 50% don’t want one