What’s in this guide?
The smart meter rollout is a government scheme to try and make sure that every home has a smart meter by 2020.
They claim that it’s so customers can say goodbye to estimated billing as the smart meter will track their energy usage in real time, plus with that information you can start lowering the cost of your energy by knowing how much power you use and where it goes.
I know what you’re thinking.
So what exactly is a smart meter? How does it work? When will I get one?
This will inform you everything you need to know about smart meters.
Let’s dive in and find out more.
What is a smart meter?
A smart meter is a meter that will track your energy usage in real time, which you can view thanks to the in-home display monitor that attaches to one of your walls.
As well as telling you which appliances are costing you the most and when you use your energy, it sends this information to your energy supplier so they can bill you accurately, meaning an end to estimated billing.
✔ Get charged only for the energy you use
✔ Track your energy use, saving you money
✔Be able to budget better, thanks to knowing what you’re paying
✔As smart meters develop, they will make it easier to switch suppliers
Do I have to have one?
In short, no. Although the government has encouraged energy suppliers to offer all of their customer’s smart meters by 2020, it doesn’t mean you have to have one.
It is entirely up to you, which is why this guide tells you both the pros and the cons of smart meters so you can make an educated decision.
When will I get one?
Generally speaking, your supplier should get in contact with you within the next couple of years to offer you a smart meter.
Currently, the ‘big six’ energy companies are only installing a smaller number of smart meters into homes so that you can register your interest on their websites and they will get back to you if you are eligible.
Am I eligible?
Is your energy supplier installing smart meters currently?
You can contact them directly and enquire about whether they are installing smart meters in your area, but you could also check their website too.
This is often the only deciding factor in whether you can have a smart meter installed.
What are the pros and cons?
Smart Meter Pros
✔Ensure that you are billed accurately
✔Keep an eye on the amount of energy you are using
✔Understand your energy consumption
✔See the appliances which are costing you the most
✔Update your meter technology
Smart Meter Cons
✗When you switch, your meter might not have the same abilities
✗Installation might be complicated
✗Smart meters might not work efficiently home-generated energy like solar power
✗Your smart meter will need to be replaced every ten years
Smart Meter FAQ
Do I have to pay?
You don’t have to pay directly, but according to reports it will be taken out of your energy bill in the short term.
Every home will be paying around £125 in total.
Is it mandatory to have a smart meter?
No, but you will be offered one by your supplier.
Do smart meters save money?
Understanding your energy usage can save you money.
Do I need Wifi to have a smart meter?
No, smart meters use their wireless network using radio waves, like your mobile phone or the internet.
When will I get a smart meter?
Your supplier is obligated to offer you a smart meter up until 2020, but whether you accept the offer is entirely up to you.
Can I have a smart meter if I am a prepayment meter?
Regardless of whether you are a prepayment meter or credit customer, you can have a smart meter that will help you to better pay your energy bills.
Will I be pressured into buying something else during installation?
No. Ofgem, the industry regulator, has imposed strict rules so engineers can’t try and upsell you when they come to install your meter.
Do you have a smart meter? Would you like one, or to learn more?