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Troy, Llanelli

Troy Tiencken

Troy’s smart meter has allowed him to keep a close eye on his family’s energy use and monitor how much they are using daily. Troy lives with his wife and three young children in a semi-detatched house in a quiet cul-de-sac in Llanelli. 

Before we got our smart meter in December 2015, we had a prepayment meter in our house. We were looking into changing the meter and paying by monthly direct debit instead but it would have cost us £140! That was when found out we could have a smart meter installed and it wouldn’t cost us anything extra – we jumped at the chance. 

Our old prepayment meter was a nightmare, so we couldn’t wait to upgrade! We had to go down to the shop to top up all the time and there were numerous occasions when I had to ring my mother to drive us to the garage to buy credit because the lights had gone out in the middle of the night. Now with the smart meter, we can see exactly how much energy we’re using and when we are coming close to our chosen daily maximum, which we try to stay below when we can. 

At the moment, we are in the habit of setting ourselves a daily limit and our smart meter warns us when we are close to reaching it. It’s working really well as a guide for us, and it helps us balance out the energy we use across a week, if we need to use more on certain days. For instance, we know that on days when we do the laundry our energy use will be higher, so we try to use less power the day before or after – we’re a big family and have a lot of clothes to wash, so we’re well practiced now!

The smart meter display sits in plain view next to our internet box. It’s still a novelty for us so we often find ourselves checking it all the time; especially if we want to check in on how much much energy we’ve used towards the end of the week. 

As a family, we used to try and set budgets when we had our prepayment meter but always found that we ended up spending more when the energy ran out, as it was difficult to know when the limit was near. Now, with our smart meter, we spend approximately £20 a week on gas and £15 on electricity for a three week period. Then we have plenty saved in our household budget to top up for the last week of the month, and we don’t worry about when we buy more credit, because we can do it from home at any time of day. This works so much better for us and we’re saving a substantial amount of money – just as well with a newborn baby in the house! 

Having a smart meter means we are much more in control of both our energy use and the money we are spending, and we couldn’t be happier with our experience so far. The display is so easy to understand and definitely takes away the stress of worrying that we’ll run out of power during the night feed!