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People with smart meters say smart is better

Smart Energy GB today publishes Smart energy outlook, the largest independent survey of national public opinion on energy and smart meters.

The biannual nationwide poll into the opinions of almost 10,000 people in Great Britain, carried out by Populus, provides clear evidence that the overwhelming majority of customers who have smart meters installed in their homes are happy with them.

It comes as new official figures published by the government today show that over 11 million smart meters have now been installed in homes across Great Britain. 

Smart meters replace the traditional analogue meters we currently have in our homes. They enable accurate bills, near real time information on energy use and greater control over the way we buy and use energy.

The Outlook survey found:

  • Around three quarters (73 per cent) of people with a smart meter would recommend one to friends, family or neighbours. That's the equivalent to 6.3 million people who would recommend a smart meter
  • The majority (82 per cent) of people with smart meters say they have a better idea of what they are spending on energy
  • More than eight in ten (81 per cent) of people with smart meters say they have a better idea of what they are spending on energy
  • More than eight in ten (82 per cent) of people with smart meters have taken steps to reduce energy waste
  • One in three (33 per cent) of people with a smart meter are now starting discussions to encourage others in their household to use less energy

The positive impact of smart meters also remains steadfast over time. People who have had a smart meter for longer than a year are more likely to feel their energy bill is accurate and to say they are not as concerned about running up a big energy bill.

Smart energy outlook shows that smart meters are not only proving popular - they're also positively influencing the way people use gas and electricity, as well as how they feel about their household energy.

Sacha Deshmukh, Chief Executive of Smart Energy GB, said:

"No matter what stories you might have heard, this research shows that the experience of managing your gas and electricity bills is vastly improved when you've got a smart meter in your home.

"People with smart meters know what they're spending on energy, they're more confident in the accuracy of their bills and they're better informed when it comes to making decisions about their energy. Smart meters are also helping people all across Great Britain to reduce energy waste at home.

"It's crucial we upgrade to smart meters so that everyone has the opportunity to experience a more effective and positive way of managing household energy."

Case studies

Lynn James from Hertfordshire

Lynn lives with her husband and three boys in Hertfordshire. Since having a smart meter installed, Lynn 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.

"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 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.

"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."

Elspeth Kerr from Glasgow

Elspeth, a local councillor, is saving around £20 a month with a pre-pay smart meter.

“Before we got our smart meter installed I would have to get down on my hands and knees to read the meter or to top the meter up – this was particularly difficult as I suffer from a frozen shoulder.

“Now that we have a smart meter I can easily see how much energy we’re using in pounds and pence on the in-home-display, which sits next to the sofa. I can also top up the credit online, so we never have to access the actual meters anymore. The display has been particularly useful in encouraging my daughters to be more conscious of the energy we use.”

Pav Cheema from London

Pav loves using tracking technology to stay motivated and set personal goals while cycling. Since having a smart meter installed, Pav has been able to save energy using the in-home display and track what he is spending in near real time.

“Once I heard that a smart meter could help me keep an eye on my energy usage at home, I knew I wanted to get one, and as it’s my name on the bills I could arrange it really easily. The actual installation was fine, and it took less time than I thought it would, about two hours in total.

“My smart meter is helping me to save money and reduce energy waste whenever I can. I can see what I’m using in near real time and how much it’s costing, so I can work out ways to be more efficient without having to make any big changes.”


Notes to editors

Smart energy outlook is carried out for Smart Energy GB, twice a year, by independent research agency Populus. It surveys almost 10,000 people aged 21+ around the country using a bespoke online survey. 

You can view the full report here. 

About Smart Energy GB

Smart Energy GB is the voice of the smart meter rollout. It’s our task to help everyone in Great Britain understand smart meters, the national rollout and how to use their new meters to get their gas and electricity under control. Our national campaign is reaching households and microbusinesses in England, Scotland and Wales.

Smart Energy GB media contacts

For more information including interview requests, case studies of smart meter users, infographics, photography and video content please contact the Smart Energy GB media team:

Helen Croney: [email protected]; 0131 322 6204 / 07921 458 041

Sophie Docker: [email protected]; 0203 019 1077 / 07522 230 907