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smart meter and toast A woman in her kitchen, checking her smart meter in-home display with a smile

How do people use their smart meters?

More than 15 million smart meters are operating across Great Britain – and we spoke to people with one in their home to find out how they're benefiting from it. Here are some of the highlights:

  • 80% say they have a better idea of what they're spending on energy.
  • 68% say they're more conscious about energy use.
  • 49% say it's helping them save money.
  • 47% say they're less worried about their bills.

As well as this survey, over the past few years we have interviewed people in their homes to find out why they had a smart meter installed, and how they're getting on with it. Below are three of our favourites.

Man ironing next to smart meter

Case study – Troy, Llanelli

"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.”

With a smart meter, you can more simply understand how much it costs to use energy around your home. Armed with this knowledge, it's easier to make small and sustainable changes – such as reducing your shower time – to cut down on your energy use and save some money.

Case study – My-Yen, Cardiff

My-Yen explains how a smart meter can help us save energy at home, but also how just having one installed helps reduce our nation's carbon footprint.

"I think that, if more people in Great Britain were to get a smart meter, it would definitely help to tackle climate change, because it just gives a better insight into what energy you are using and how you can bring energy use down when you don't actually need to use it.

"It's really important for me and my family to make these changes now. By having a smart meter I feel like it's just a small step that we've made to help future generations to come, in particular, my son's generation."

Case study – Marilyn, Ipswich

Marilyn and her husband look after a loved one with dementia, and manage all her bills. Here's how a smart meter has helped them.

"Since we got her a smart meter we no longer have to submit meter readings, and no one has to go round to the house to read her meters...

"I think the main benefit for Mary has been that she doesn't any longer get estimated bills. We always know how much she is due to pay and it's all very clear...

"I would definitely recommend smart meters for elderly people who may find it difficult to access their meter to read them. And I would recommend for people who are caring for older people, because it's one less job for them to have to do."

Research by the UCL Energy Institute, Mersey Care NHS Trust and Liverpool John Moore's University has pointed to more ways that smart meters could help the elderly and vulnerable, including helping people with dementia to stay in their own homes.

Those with smart meters feel they have more control over the energy they use in their home, allowing them to save both money and energy. So it's unsurprising that most with a smart meter would recommend it to others.

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