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Three quarters of consumers want a smart energy meter

Almost three quarters (72%) of consumers say they are happy to have a smart meter fitted in their home,however a quarter still don’t know what they are or what they do, according to a new survey of over 4,400 energy customers by Uswitch.com.

  • Almost three quarters of consumers (72%) say they would be happy to have a smart meter installed

  • 59% would use one to reduce energy usage and become more energy efficient, while 42% say they would benefit from more accurate bills

  • Those with smart meters are more satisfied with their energy supplier (78%) than those without (70%)

  • Customers with a smart meter are more likely to recommend their supplier (64%) than those with a traditional one (53%)

  • But, despite the appetite for the technology, a quarter (25%)still don’t know what a smart meter is or does.

The majority of UK energy customers say they would be happy to have a smart energy meter fitted in their home, according to new figures from Uswitch.com, the independent price comparison and switching service.

Almost three quarters (72%) of UK energy consumers with traditional energy meters said they would be happy to have a smart meter installed. Six in ten (59%) would use the information from a smart meter to cut down on their energy usage, becoming more energy efficient and lowering bills. Over four in ten (42%) said they would use a smart meter to get more accurate bills.

The figures also reveal that consumers who use smart meters are more satisfied with their energy supplier than those with traditional meters. Over two thirds (68%) of those with smart meters believe they get value for money from their supplier, compared to just 57% without. Meanwhile, over three quarters (78%) of smart meter customers are satisfied with their billing services, compared with 69% of those without.

In fact, two thirds (64%) of consumers using the technology would recommend their supplier, compared to only half (53%) of those with traditional meters.

In spite of the Government’s planned roll out of smart meters to all homes by 2020, a quarter (25%) of energy consumers are in the dark about what they are and their benefits, suggesting more should be done to educate customers about the technology.

Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at Uswitch.com, says: “Consumers who are better informed about their energy will have more control over their bills. By understanding exactly how much they use, households can look for ways to become more energy efficient and use less, waste less and pay less.

“With such a massive appetite for smart meters it’s disappointing that one in four say that they’re none the wiser about their benefits. Both the Government and the industry should do more to educate consumers about how the technology can help them to lower bills.

“The introduction of ‘time of use tariffs’, where energy will be cheaper at off peak periods, will also encourage people to save precious pounds. Consumers who want to know more about smart meters should contact their supplier for further information. Meanwhile, those on an ordinary meter should check it regularly and provide their supplier with regular readings to receive accurate bills.”

Baroness Verma, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, says: “It is great to see the positive results of this survey. Smart meters will help put consumers in control of their energy use, bring an end to estimated bills and help people to save energy and money. We want all consumers to benefit which is why, as the rollout progresses, Smart Energy GB will be engaging consumers to build consumer confidence and understanding about smart meters.”

Notes to editors

Research conducted online by YouGov from 17th to 27th October 2014, amongst 5,262 UK energy consumers ages 18+ (4,467 of those stated they had a smart or traditional energy meter). The figures have been weighted.

  • Consumers refers to those who are involved in paying a dual fuel provider for their household energy.

  1. In response to: ‘The mandated rollout of smart meters is set to begin from Autumn 2015. How happy or unhappy are you to have a smart meter fitted?’ 29% of energy consumers said very happy, with 22% saying happy and 21% saying fairly happy. 29% + 22% + 21% = 72%

  2. In response to: ‘A smart meter will provide accurate information about how much energy you are using. How would you use this information? The following table reveals the percentage of each option selected by energy customers

Ways consumers would use the information provided by a smart meter% of consumers who would use the information provided by a smart meter
To cut down on my energy usage/ be more energy efficient59%
To feel reassured that my energy bills are accurate42%
To better manage my payments to my supplier and make sure I stay out of debt21%
To compare my usage with other households11%
Smart meter usersNon smart meter users
Overall satisfaction77.9%70.4%
Recommend64.4%52.6%
Value for money67.9%56.6%
Best deal for you65.7%53.1%
Customer services67.5%57.9%
Billing services78.0%68.6%
Meter readings75.9%58.8%
Online services71.3%62.3%
Incentives/ reward38.2%23.8%
Energy efficiency52.9%29.6%
Green services28.5%17.5%
  1. In response to: ‘Before taking this survey, had you heard of a smart meter? 15% of energy consumers said yes, I had but I don’t know what it does and 10% said no, I hadn’t. 15% + 10% = 25%.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Jason Wakeford

Phone: 0203 872 5612

Email: jason.wakeford@uswitch.com

Twitter: @UswitchPR

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