Are smart meters good? Should I get a smart meter?
If your energy supplier has reached out to you about getting a smart meter, you might be wondering: are smart meters any good? Or even, what are the benefits of smart meters for consumers? This page lays out all the advantages of smart meters, both for you and your wallet, and for Britain. Keep reading to find out all about the benefits of smart meters.
Should I get a smart meter? What are the benefits of a smart meter?
- You get accurate bills, not estimates from your energy supplier
- Tracking your energy usage with a smart meter could make bills easier to predict
- You can identify where you can reduce energy consumption at home
- Smart meters can help you to save money on energy
- No need to take manual readings; smart meters send automatic meter readings
- Smart meters help to modernise Britain’s energy system and reduce waste
- They can help us adapt to new smart technologies, like electric vehicles
- You could have more options for energy tariffs with a smart meter
- Smart meters help you to reduce your impact on the environment
- As well as helping Britain tackle climate change
- The smart meter rollout is predicted to save Britain money
- And could help to reduce Britain’s dependency on energy from abroad
- Plus, there are even more smart meter benefits if you have a prepayment meter
Are smart meters good for consumers?
Yes, consumers with smart meters see lots of personal benefits. These benefits include getting accurate energy bills and automatic meter readings. As well as being able to track your energy usage and more easily manage your energy bills.
Read on to find out all the benefits of having a smart meter.
Smart meters mean you get accurate, not estimated bills
One of the smart meter benefits for consumers is that smart meters automatically send your meter reading to your energy supplier. Smart meters send readings on a half-hourly, daily, or in some cases monthly basis. With these regular automatic meter readings, your supplier knows how much energy you’re using and can send you accurate bills. This means that when you're billed you’ll only pay for what you use.
Smart meters make your energy bills easier to predict
When your smart meter is installed, you’ll be offered a smart meter in-home display. The in-home display shows your energy usage in near real-time and in pounds and pence. It also shows your daily, weekly or monthly energy consumption. This means you should have a better idea of what to expect in your next energy bill.
Smart meters help you figure out where you can use less energy
Another one of the advantages of a smart meter is that you can see which appliances use the most electricity. You can use your in-home display to work this out, and then you can check if there are any appliances you can switch off to reduce your energy consumption.
Learn more about how you can save energy with a smart meter.
Smart meters can help you save money on energy
By using your smart meter in-home display to track your energy usage, you can make more informed decisions which could help you manage your energy bills. You can also use the daily, weekly and monthly views on your in-home display to more effectively budget for your energy spending. You can even set a daily, weekly or monthly budget on your IHD. Your IHD will alert you if you go over the amount that you have chosen.
For more information, visit how to use a smart meter to save money.
Smart meters send automatic meter readings
No more manual readings with a smart meter. Manual readings will become a thing of the past as smart meters are self-reading. Your meter will send automatic meter readings directly to your supplier.
Smart meters are helping to modernise Britain’s energy system
Smart meters are making our energy system smarter. A smart energy system uses modern digital technology to understand when Great Britain uses energy and how much energy it needs. This will allow the system to better manage what energy is needed, and where. That means reducing energy waste. It also means we can be less reliant on fossil fuel energy and invest in renewables instead.
Smart meter data could also enable the smart energy system to identify and respond to power outages more quickly.
Smart meters are helping us adapt to new smart technologies
Another one of the benefits of having a smart meter is that you can get the full benefit of new technologies like smart appliances and electric cars. A smart energy system uses smart meter data to better predict energy demand. As more people get electric vehicles, there will be more demand for electricity. A smarter energy system will help us supply more reliable, efficient, low-carbon energy to households.
Having a smart meter means you could have more options for energy tariffs
Some energy suppliers are already offering time-of-use tariffs or even electric vehicle tariffs. These tariffs charge you less for energy when energy is cheaper to generate. Smart time-of-use tariffs are only available to people with smart meters. This is because energy suppliers need regular half-hourly meter readings to know when you’re using energy, so they can charge the right amount for it.
Smart meters help you reduce your impact on the environment
By monitoring your energy usage using your smart meter in-home display, you can find ways to reduce your energy consumption. For example, you can use your smart meter to help you choose the most energy-efficient appliance for the job. Or you can check your in-home display to see if there are any devices on standby that could be turned off. Using your smart meter could lead to lower energy bills and a smaller carbon footprint – a double win!
Smart meters help Britain tackle climate change
Using your smart meter to reduce your energy use is a way you could help Great Britain tackle climate change. Understanding energy use helps suppliers develop time-of-use tariffs. Consumers who use these tariffs will help Great Britain use more renewable energy. Shifting our energy use to off-peak times will also help us use fewer power stations.
The smart meter rollout is projected to save Great Britain money
The Government’s cost-benefit analysis projects that, by 2034, the smart meter rollout will lead to a £6bn saving for Britain. It also states that the rollout has now passed its ‘breakeven point’. This means that every new smart meter installed now is adding to the net benefits of the programme.
What’s more, the government predicts that, over the course of the rollout, smart meters will save an estimated total of £5.6 billion from households’ energy bills. Smart meters will do this by giving consumers the information they need to save energy, while also improving our smart energy system.
Smart meters could help support Britain’s energy security
Smart meters could help to create a future where we're less reliant on imported gas. They help us manage our energy use throughout the day, which improves the balance of supply and demand. Managing when energy is used can help to reduce fossil fuel use, including what we buy from abroad. This means that smart meters could help to efficiently integrate more homegrown and renewable energy sources, like wind and solar, into our energy system. This could help to support Britain’s energy security in the long term.
Smart meters work with prepay
If you have a prepay meter, you can get a smart meter. With a prepay smart meter, you can top up on your mobile. Your in-home display will display when you’re nearly out of credit. There’s also an emergency credit button you can press if you need a bit of extra time before you are able to top up.
If you have a prepayment meter, another benefit of having a smart meter is not having to apply for some government energy grants or benefits. Some discounts, like the Energy Bills Support Scheme, are automatically applied to smart meters, without you having to take any action.
So, what is the advantage of having a smart meter?
There are lots of advantages to having a smart meter. Smart meters send automatic meter readings, they can help you budget and find ways to reduce your energy consumption, which could mean lower energy bills and a reduced carbon footprint. Smart meters also have benefits for Britain: they are upgrading our energy system, helping us use more renewable energy and they could help Britain to rely less on imported fuels in the future.
For more information, see the DCC's guide on what to know if you're considering getting a smart meter.
Don't just take our word for it...
"My smart meter is fantastic. I no longer need to spider dodge in the outside gas meter cupboard to take a meter reading!"
"Best thing I ever installed was my smart meter. At 71, I don’t have to climb a step ladder to read the meter and send readings."
"I've got smart meters at home and in businesses. No more estimated bills, just pay for what I use! It's a great system."
"I love having a smart meter! Now I can make an educated decision as to putting on the heating."
"I don't get estimated bills! My smart meter is spot on with what I pay."
"I simply can't see what's not to like about smart meters! They certainly help my family keep a check on our energy spend."
"My smart meter has helped me access cheaper energy rates; now I charge the car and run the washing machine for less."
Learn more about the benefits of smart meters
- How to use a smart meter to save money
- How smart meters are upgrading our energy system
- How smart meters can help you reduce your carbon footprint
- Don’t just take our word for it – check out our smart meter reviews