Why are smart meters important for Britain's energy upgrade?
Smart meters are an important step in allowing active management of our energy system. They'll help Britain create an energy system that's fit for the future and leading the way.
1) Smart meters are making our energy system smarter
Smart meters securely share gas and electricity readings with your supplier. This means no more estimated bills, and no more staying home to let the meter reader in.
Smart meter data can also enable the smart energy system to:
- identify and respond to power outages more quickly
- better balance supply with demand, which then helps to...
- reduce waste - in fact, the government predicts that the smart meter rollout could save £650m*
- make the most of renewable energy like wind and solar
*Requires consumer action
Find out how a smart energy system will help us use more renewable energy, like wind power. Einstein loves wind:
We've teamed up with Cornwall Insight to help explain how smart meters help Great Britain’s energy system get smarter and more secure. Click the button below to download a copy of the report for yourself:
By getting a smart meter you’re helping modernise Britain’s energy system.
So it can use more renewable energy. Like wind power.
I love wiiind!
Join the energy revolution. Get a smart meter.
SO, WHAT IS A SMART ENERGY SYSTEM?
Today's technology has come so far – it's great to see how our homes are getting smarter, from our TVs to our phones. Now smart meters are the latest revolution, helping us modernise and create a smart energy system.
A smart energy system uses modern digital technology to understand when customers across Great Britain use energy on a large scale, as well as how much they use. This will allow the system to better manage what energy is needed, where. That means reducing energy waste and, also moving away from being reliant on fossil fuel energy, instead investing in renewables.
This modern system will mean we can use more renewable energy, and reduce carbon emissions. Now that's smart.
2) Smart meters can enable new tariffs and technology
Smart time-of-use tariffs offer different prices for energy at different times of the day. This allows consumers to save money and reduce their carbon footprint, if their household is able to use less energy during periods of low demand (off-peak periods).
This is because the cost of generating electricity varies throughout the day – energy is more expensive during peak periods, when energy suppliers might need to turn on fossil fuel-powered generators to cope with high demand.
When households shift their usage away from peak periods, the demand for energy is smoothed over the day so the energy system can make more use of renewables when they are available. Though if your household tends to use more energy during peak periods, you can still get a smart meter and use it to monitor your energy use.
3) Smart meters are an essential part of making our energy system fit for the future
Demand for electricity in Britain is predicted to nearly double by 2050, so it's important that our energy system can handle this increase in need for energy in a cost efficient way.
Smart meters are integral to Britain meeting increased energy demands in the future because they:
- enable a flexible energy system that can use greener sources of energy;
- help improve the way the system balances supply with demand; and
- ensure the security of our energy supply.
The smart energy system is changing the way our energy infrastructure works – using a more connected, whole-system approach that brings together the different elements of the current grid and supply with consumers to create a more efficient system for everyone.
Britain is determined to reach net zero, and with the government aiming to electrify our heating and shut down coal power stations by 2024, it's more important than ever that our energy system is flexible, secure and fit for the future. Getting a smart meter is a small but significant step we can all take in the right direction.
You may also be interested in...
- Mythbusting smart meter problems – we set the record straight on some key smart meter concerns.
- Time-of-use tariffs: the benefits – includes saving money on your energy bill and supporting a cleaner, greener energy system.
- How to get a smart meter – three steps to help support Britain’s energy upgrade.