After being constantly frustrated with not knowing how much she was spending on gas and electricity, Lynn asked her energy supplier for a smart meter. Since, she has started a weekly competition with her children to see who can save the most money – if they beat her, they get the difference in pocket money. Lynn lives with her husband and three boys in Hertfordshire.
It’s always annoyed me that my energy bill is the only bill I haven’t had any control over. I had no idea what my energy was costing me day by day. I just wanted a device that would tell me on a daily or even a minute by minute basis what we’re spending. So, when I found out about smart meters, I requested one from my energy supplier straight away.
I’ve always paid by direct debit, and in the past, I’ve found myself in situations where I had been using more energy than my direct debit estimated. I once ended up with a huge bill and I had to pay £400 towards energy I hadn’t realised I’d been using. But with my smart meter, that’s never going to happen because I’ll always know what I’m spending, and so will my energy supplier. It just takes out that problem, and you can prepare yourself if it is going to be an expensive month, rather than just getting landed with an unexpected shock bill.
I’ve never really understood my energy bills and how they were calculated, after all, who really knows what a kilowatt hour is? The only way to understand it is in pounds and pence, that’s why I love my smart meter.
We keep our in-home display by the sink in the kitchen, and because I work from home, I tend to check it every time I make a cup of tea. I write down our balance every morning and I’m planning on making this into a graph so everyone in the house can easily see a visual representation of what we’re using.
It’s been so interesting to work out what different appliances are costing to use. Before getting a smart meter, I might have left the tumble dryer on for longer than I needed to because I just didn’t know how expensive that was. I’ve also encouraged my husband to stop filling up the whole kettle when he’s just making one cup of tea, it’s just not necessary!
I’m trying to get my children to be more aware of our energy use, and what it means in real terms if you leave all the lights on. We’ve started doing a weekly competition where we’re trying to spend as little as possible. We take turns each week with someone in charge of keeping our energy costs down, and if that person gets our amount down to less than I did, I give them the difference in pocket money – it’s a great incentive for them.
After the first month of having a smart meter, I’ve already seen that our energy use has reduced. It just gives you that sense of comfort that you’re being really good and keeping things where they should be.
To hear from Lynn herself, click on the video below: