What Are Smart Meters?
Smart meters measure energy use and unlike your regular gas or electricity meter, it sends the data straight to your energy supplier. They are considered “smart” because they can provide detailed and accurate data on electrical usage in our homes in real-time or at predetermined intervals, without the need of a technician. Consumers are also able to track their energy use on a display screen, like a mobile phone.
However, there is a level of controversy facing the technology… Given that the government is pushing for all energy suppliers to install smart meters in every home across Britain by the end of 2024, you probably want the facts?
Positives of Smart Meters
Perhaps the first positive for many of us, is that you don’t have to pay anything directly to have a smart meter installed. As well as this because the data recorded is virtually real-time your bills should be an accurate reflection of what you have used. Not only is this a benefit for consumers it is also a benefit for energy suppliers because it means that they don’t need to visit households to read the meters.
Another crucial benefit is that there is the potential for savings if users are proactive with the determined data. By giving you insight into your energy usage, you can begin to change your behaviour to work out where savings can be made. This works hand in hand with being able to reduce your environmental impact because you can not only change your habits to increase savings but also to reduce your carbon footprint.
Negatives of Smart Meters
There is the recurring view that smart meters require proactive use in order to make savings. We find it a little baffling that consumers struggle to come to terms with the fact that they have to actively engage with their meter and change their behaviour accordingly, in order to make savings… But each to their own.
The other common problem facing the smart meters is the technical faults consumers have been having with them. For instance, there have been cases of some smart meters being affected by the weather and losing connection. Similarly, the National Audit Office claimed that colder parts of the country were the least likely to have smart meters installed, even though they would probably make greater difference in these areas. Hopefully with the constant technological advances, problems like this can be overcome.
Conclusion – Are Smart Meters Worth It?
We are strong believers in smart meters. The positives far outweigh the negatives and many of the fears are due to a level of ignorance by consumers. You begin to gain more control over your usage and can increase your savings. One big factor is that it too, can help you reduce your carbon footprint. Lets start thinking smart about the future.