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Research claims 81% of people with smart meters would recommend them

The latest Smart Energy GB report has been released, showing up to date customer insight on the smart meter rollout

smart meter ihds

The national campaign for the smart meter rollout, Smart Energy GB, has released its latest batch of research into the attitudes and opinions towards smart meters from across the country.

Five million smart meters have already been installed across England, Scotland and Wales as part of a supplier-led government initiative to upgrade the country’s energy infrastructure.

Twenty-six million homes in total are meant to be offered smart meters by 2020.

Lower income households more likely to recommend

The latest findings suggest eight in ten consumers with smart meters would recommend them to a friend or family member. This figure rises to 88% for those from lower income backgrounds.

The ability to see pounds and pence spend on a smart meter’s IHD can help households to monitor their energy usage better, and cut back on the things that are increasing their energy bill. The report states this is the most appealing of smart meters across all demographics.

Another benefit that is popular amongst users of smart meters, is the process of automatically receiving accurate bills, rather than estimated. This is one of the most widely publicised benefits of the new meters and could reduce the amount of people who unknowingly get into credit or debt with their supplier through not providing meter readings.

33% now know what a smart meter is

Understanding of what a smart meter does has increased from six months ago (30%) to 33%.

Despite the 2020 deadline and widespread marketing campaigns, it seems there are still black spots with lower understanding in particular areas of the country; London has the lowest percentage of understanding at just one in four having a detailed knowledge of smart meters.

This lack in understanding could be down to the area’s high level of renters, who would be more detached from their home’s energy usage and meters. However, it is in fact a renter’s decision on whether or not they want a smart meter when offered by a supplier, assuming they are responsible for paying the energy bills.

Interest in using energy when it’s cheapest

The data from a smart meter has the ability for suppliers to offer time of use tariffs. These energy rates would be cheaper at certain times of the day so those with smart meters could adapt energy usage accordingly. 29% of people surveyed said choosing to use energy at times that were cheaper was an appealing factor of smart meters.

15% also claimed the new meters would help them to choose a better deal.

Long-term, smart meters may make switching easier — but currently some smart meters turn back to credit meters that require manual reading when switching away from the supplier who installed them.

Additionally, along with other suppliers who announced price increases — ScottishPower blamed wholesale price increases alongside the cost of the smart meter rollout for their recent price hike.



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  • Ray S

    These have been rejected in USA, For several reasons, a they are snooping on your household B, they radiated rf signals C ,they have no safety, are a fire/explosion hazard, they are electronic device banned from connection. Also the consumer will be charged for the energy that the meter cosumes.
    It a marketing ploy,for the gullible public. I certainly would not take part in this scam.

    • Adrian S

      Radiated RF signal worry is just a load of rubbish. They use mobile phone signals, so no more dangerous than that phone you carry in your pocket.
      As for snooping, it is possible, but the ones we have here only send data about energy you use, so what is the point in snooping?

      As for explosions, I do not know about that, but that have happened without smart meters.

      • Ray S

        they do use mobile phone signals.they are no more dangerous than mobile phones!
        But why have this extra radiation when its not necessary? The RF radiated is a lot more than mobile phones,it is passed through all the wiring of the house,which becomes a big aerial.And snooping, well they will know be the energy in real time.
        Because these are electronic toys connected to a source of high energy without any protection,they have been know to catch fire and exploded, I can confirm that one digital meter fitted without my permission did catch fire. They replaced with a proper EM meter.

        • Adrian S

          who said they had extra radiation? A phone will give off radiation, your Wi-fi router is no doubt giving off more than what a smart meter would. You are reading too much rubbish I think. How can it pass though your wiring, they are not made to do that.
          They do not know the energy in real time, the meters send the readings at intervals. The word smart for these meters is not the best word for them, because they are not really smart. so much rubbish is pushed out on the net about these things and people like yourself believe it.
          Instead of reading rubbish sites like stop smart meters in the UK, which feed on conspiracy nutters read some more sites, do some more searches.

          The only reason our government is pushing these things are so it looks like they are doing their bit for climate change,, the same reason why we kept having a load of low energy bulbs shoved though our doors.

          Smart meters are not bad, they are a waste of time and money but as they stand they are not bad. Granted in the future more advanced meters will come that could control appliances in peoples homes, but for that appliances would have to have the electronics built in or a special plug. stuck on. But that is not going to happen for years, have to have a smart network to take advantage of that

          Anyway, if you think that way about them, just say no, I do not want one, you will not be forced into one. there is a problem if you moved into a house with one already in place, but you could do what one person I know did and surround the meter with lead,

          • Ray S

            Your comments are from someone who either dont know of the issues or someone who is desparately trying to sell these.
            I have had considerable experience with digital KW/HR meters and most electronic devices to know these. I will not add any more since you seem to know more than I do, and I do not want a conflict with you,so go and promote these things!

  • steve

    paying for something that shows you how much these energy providers are ripping you off by.!!!!!

  • Stuart Brailsford

    I had smart meters installed while with British gas, then swapped to Scottish power as their tariff was cheaper. Thing is Scottish power will not use these meters and I now provide meter readings each month as I did before I had them installed! Waste of time if you ask me.

    • Mac

      British Gas sent me one when I was with them – it only read electricity. I changed suppliers and I might as well go out into the garage to read both meters now. Complete rubbish.

  • Keith Woollacott

    I tried them but scrapped it when I realised it couldn’t differentiate between the electricity I was buying from the grid and the electricity I was generating from my photovoltaic panels.

  • Terry Palmer

    What happens when the majority have one and the energy companies bring in shoulder units and maximum demand units like they do for industry? Watch everybody bleat then. Imagine £2.00 /KWh between 5pm and 7pm, sat in the dark with no television.


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    • Francis Jackson

      sleep during that time and watch it at 02:23 on catchup on demand! I’ll be turning nocturnal

  • ovm36

    Not convinced at all. After we had smart meters installed our energy consumption/bill WENT UP. Does this mean our old meters were not calibrated correctly? They require their own power socket, and I really don’t need a visual display of a meter going into the red zone when I put the kettle on. Strange as it may seem, I already knew that kettles are high consumers of energy.

  • Adrian S

    I do not see the point to be honest, I still have to use electric top power the stuff I power, I still need gas for cooking and heating, just because a meter tells me that it is going to cost me so much to make my coffee in the morning is not going to stop me making that coffee.
    I know people who have these meters and most of them have just chucked the display in the back of the cupboard, they may have looked at it at the start, but i think only one household I know of look at theirs, but they say the same as me, they still need to use power.

    I do think these meters are dangerous, in that older people or people on a low income may look at how much it is costing to heat their homes up, worry about it and turn the heating off or so low that it is not effective, causing them to become ill and end up in Hospital or worse.

    Also the meters that are being installed now will need to be removed once the government sorted out a standard as the meters installed now, say by British Gas may not work with say Npower if you change providers,
    My provider do not seem to be any where near providing smart meters and if they do I will refuse them, the problem is even if we do refuse them, we will still all end up paying higher bills because of them

  • Steve Watson

    I have my own Eco Meter display. I know my weekly and monthly and annual usage. I know my costs Exactly thru my monthly bill and usage, while my display shows if an electric item is using “too Much”
    By checking what is on, I can modify my use.
    Why do I need to pay for another meter?
    Altho I will not have the choice – I can refuse the meter, but will still have a subsiidy added to my bill!

  • Geoff Bray

    I don’t want one, because they belong to the energy company used at the time. Want to change suppliers? Will it be easy? Will it be impossible? At the end of the day, one will pay for what one uses.

  • Michael Ryan Dsouza

    I wanted to installed smart meter but since I have solar panels they said we can’t install, I hope they come up with some solution for houses with solar panels can have them too.

    • John C

      Having Solar PV you are currently paid back using the solar meter reading BEFORE you use any of that power. With the Smart meter installed, it will read the ACTUAL power you send back to the grid AFTER your own usage, which will be less. The same payback formula will be applied to this LESSER amount so you will lose money.

  • David Curry

    We’ve just had them installed, although I am not convinced of their usefulness. I cannot see what iota of difference they will make. I don’t put the gas on for no reason, I don’t use electricity for no reason. It will still take exactly the same amount of power to heat water or the house. I switch items off after use, especially lights. Central heating pilot lights will remain as before, various standbys will remain on, because they HAVE to be on. What difference will there be? It is clearly a perfect case of the Government and green lobby spending – wasting – OUR money in order to be seen to be doing something.

  • James Colwill

    We had solar H/W & P/V panels installed about 7 years ago.
    It would not be in our interest to have a smart meter.
    Why you might ask.
    Not only do we receive the highest FITS payment, which we of course use in the home first, but any not used is fed back into the Grid, but here is the best bit, in the Summer when we generate the most energy, our old analogue meter can be seen running in reverse.
    We have meters in the lounge which monitor both what we use & generate.
    Fitting solar was the best move we ever made.

  • Chris Edwards

    I have recently had smart meters installed as part of the general move towards this technology. As I see it, the main purpose is to allow energy companies to obtain meter readings remotely and provide bills which are always based on actual usage. Having a readout available for me is a secondary thing. As several people have already said, it probably won’t change usage habits. I am already careful not to waste energy.but I find it interesting to see actual consumption. If I’m not interested at any time I can just unplug the monitor and not use it.
    I will still review my energy supplier annually and switch if another company is offering a much better deal. If that means that the smart meter reverts to being an ordinary credit meter that doesn’t bother me although I hope they become transferable between companies otherwise the installation becomes a waste of effort and resources.
    I really can’t see any reason to object to having a smart meter if advantageous to the energy company. There is no disadvantage to me and gives me a monitoring facility if I choose to use it.

    • Peter Rankin

      One good reason not to have one – When you switch supplier the chances are you will loose the benefits as astonishingly the power companies can only read a smart meter of the same type as those they install. So having one is actually now a disincentive to switch. What clown allowed that to happen? But then it’s government funded, so poor oversight, sloshing with cash and the power companies eager to spend it.

  • Steff

    I love mine. It reminds me to turn off lights and has made me aware of the true costs of boiling the kettle etc. I think they are a good thing.

    • Adrian S

      Lights are mainly low energy bulbs these days, so the amount used is minimal even if you keep them on all day, unless like me you have stuck to the older bulbs. As for boiling your kettle, do it make any difference that you know the true cost, in that do it stop you boiling it? If not then no point in knowing how much it costs.

      The whole point in smart meters so we are told is to get us to change the way we use energy, but if you are still boiling that kettle the same amount of times, then there is no point in a smart meter.

  • AG

    I have had a Smart meter for over 2 years now and it is not worth paying for them. The only advantage is for the metering company. I have monitored/read the electric reading every month from 2013 with the old meter and adding the reading to a spreadsheet. Change to a Smart meter in 2014, assuming I could do this remotely by Bluetooth but this was not available, so end up doing the same thing as before. The display does not give me any other info I didn’t already know or can find out. When I changed supplier the new supplier could not read the Smart meter and I now supply a reading every month so no advantage at all with this kind of meter.

  • scott

    My only real compliant about smart meters are how they are advertised. They don’t save you money, electricity still costs exactly the same with or without one and even if everyone had a smart meter I doubt they would lower prices.

  • I’m surprised the number of people who understand what a smart meter does is still only at 33%, it’s not too difficult to understand them :/

  • Barry T

    When British Gas bullied me into having a smart meter they left out the bit about free electricity at weekends not applying to prepayment customers. Conmen.

  • Jean

    No have had a right complaint as my meter was installed in Nov and British Gas forgot my free leccy on a Saturday and my bill shows an estimate so what is the point of the gaget they give you with up to date readings

  • Freddy Swindon

    It’s an invasion of my personal privacy!!!! Wifi monitoring what an apparent family is using in energy? Really ummmmm come on you really can’t tell me how these units can help as these energy companies make it all up as they go along!!! The only reason they are aiming for everyone’ to have one is just to make more and more money!!!!😡😤😡

  • thassos332

    Just one question who is paying for the electricity which the meter uses it self to run???. I mean if I turn the main switch off the meter still be running.

  • John

    I need a smarter meter to also monitor my supply voltage and also detect and log over/under-voltage transients. I’m in a semi-rural area with an overhead line and we’ve had gas heating problems because the supply was so low the hot water diverter valve wouldn’t operate correctly: it was under 200v – and that’s not legal.. Also light bulbs have a very short life but a merry one due to switching transients on the supply. LED ones fare little better.


    Watch Dog re smart meters,The installers are a risk as well as smart meters that have caused fires in homes,trained installers?I don’t think so! ok so take the risk and save money again this is a big question the big companys will find ways to rip you off no matter what.

  • anthony

    According to the power suppliers the cost of the smart meters is paid for by them and then passed onto the consumer?The latest increases In bills is includes this.People seem to think the government is paying?Who pays what?

  • J.Baxter

    I had a smart meter with OVO two years ago. Then I swapped to British Gas – they ripped out the OVO meter and installed a very complicated British Gas one. A totally different piece of equipment. Why is there no standard Smart Meter??? I have now moved to EON – how long will it be before they offer me a meter and if so will it be another different type?? My British Gas meter screen is still showing the cost of energy used as one total amount – but all other information has gone. I left British Gas for a much cheaper tariff but so far it seems to be clocking up more cash than I expected..
    Only one winner in this game – and its not the consumer

  • Francis Jackson

    Really confused by this – why did they start rolling out meters that are not compatible with other companies – will they then have to replace those meters as well later? kinda defeats the purpose of being able to switch easily, currently I can switch in 21 days – I’m OK with that

    This does not seem to be to the benefit of the consumer?