1. Who your energy supplier isEvery gas and electricity supplier will each have their own timetable to get this huge job done. Some have already fitted early generation smart meters. Others haven’t started their rollout yet, but they do need to offer you a smart meter by the end of 2020.
2. Your homeBecause of how the technology is developing, where you live, the type of home you have, and the type of meter you have may affect when you can get a smart meter. Each energy supplier is structuring their rollout of smart meters in their own way. You will need to speak to your supplier about when you can expect to get yours, but you will be offered one by the end of 2020.
What will your smart meter show you?
Smart meters come with an in-home display screen that shows you exactly how much energy you're using in near real time (it updates at least every 10 seconds for electricity and every half hour for gas) and can show you what it's costing you in pounds and pence (or if you prefer it, kwh or CO2 emissions). Smart meters will show you how much energy you've used within the last day, week, and month.
For smart meters operating in prepay mode, it will also show:
- how much credit you have left
- how much you have on your emergency credit balance
- your debt balance, if you have one
- a visual or audio alert if your credit’s getting low
Will a smart meter show me how much energy my appliances are using?
On your smart meter’s in-home display screen, you’ll be able to see exactly how much energy you're using in near real time, in pounds and pence.
This figure will accurately show how much energy is being used by everything you’ve got running in your home – including things that are always on, like your fridge.
You can use this information to help you work out which appliances are wasting energy or cost the most to run by noting what causes your energy usage to spike. Your in-home display won’t show you how much energy an individual device is using, but some energy suppliers offer services and apps that can do this for you. Contact your energy supplier to find out what they offer.
How do we calculate energy savings in our Smart Energy GB advertising?
To many people, getting a smart meter might seem like a small and relatively insignificant thing to do. But at its heart, a smart meter is there to help you save energy. So, if your household, the one next door, and the rest of the nation gets one and saves energy; then the impact of having a smart meter is actually rather substantial.
How substantial? Well, if you get a smart meter you could save an average of 354 kWh of energy a year. Here is how this figure was calculated:
Summary of our approach
- the average household uses on average 17,690 kWh annually
- real consumer data from British Gas shows average energy savings per household with a smart meter are 3 per cent
- this real consumer experience is even better than official government projections: the BEIS impact studies are an average saving of 2.8 per cent for electricity and 2 per cent for gas with a smart meter
- we have therefore taken the lowest figure available to us, (2 per cent), for prudence
- a 2 per cent saving equates to a 354 kWh per year
Household energy consumption
In July 2017, the government department for Business, Energy & Industrial strategy (BEIS) published figures showing that the average household uses on average 17,690kWh annually.
Average gas consumption per Household = 13,801 kWh
Average electricity consumption per Household = 3,889 kWh
TOTAL average energy consumption per Household = 17,690
Average savings with a smart meter
The government department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) continues to assume that average savings per customer, per year with a smart meter will be as follows: 2.8 per cent for electricity; 2 per cent for gas credit (BEIS – Cost Benefit Analysis, Aug 2016)
This is corroborated by British Gas, the UK's largest supplier with 33 per cent of the gas market and 22 per cent of the electricity market. (BEIS - Cost Benefit Analysis, Aug 2016) They have demonstrated that their customers with a smart meter have saved 3 per cent on both gas and electricity, on average, compared to traditional meter customers. Further evidence of this was presented to the Select Committee, in Parliament in September 2016. This average is based on a sample of 78,000 British Gas customers.
Claim figure calculations
Although the average annual savings with a smart meter according to the British Gas data are 3 per cent; Smart Energy GB decided to run calculations with a lower figure of 2 per cent. This lower figure was used to ensure potential savings are not over claimed.
Using an average saving of 2 per cent and the average household consumption (17,690 kWh) the average saving per household equates to 354 kWh.
Calculation: 17,690 / 100 x 2 + 354kWh
What about the calculations in the individual adverts?
AV execution; Meera
In this advert (see link here), we demonstrate how getting a smart meter could save the same amount of energy as it will take to keep a tablet playing on repeat, every night, until baby Meera is 36 (35 years).
Summary of our approach:
- An average tablet will take 10 hours to run from full charge to empty
- Average energy savings per household with a smart meter is 2 per cent per year.
- A 2 per cent saving of the average household usage equates to 354 kWh worth of energy savings
- 354 kWh of energy allows you to play an iPad, on repeat for 10 hours a night for 35 years
Detailed breakdown of Meera energy use
Tablet energy usage
- An iPad pro (9.7inch screen) has a 0.0275 kWh battery (apple.com)
- This battery will run for 10 hours from full charge to empty (ifixit.com)
- The baby, Meera, is currently one years old, and the assumption is that she sleeps an average of 10 hours a night and will continue to do so for 35 years
354 kWh (average household energy savings with a smart meter) / 0.0275 kWh (iPad battery size) = 12,872 (iPad charges)
12,872 (iPad charges) / 365 (days in a year) = 35 years approx
If Meera is currently one years old, then 354 kWh of energy will allow her to listen to an iPad pro for 10 hours every night until she is 36
AV execution; Sweet Ride
In this advert (see link here), we demonstrate how getting a smart meter could save the same amount of energy in one year as it will take to power a mobility scooter for 1,112 miles
Summary of our approach:
- A mobility scooter uses 2.54kWh of energy for every battery charge
- Average energy savings per household with a smart meter is 2% per year, which equates to 354kWh worth of energy savings
- 354kWh enables a mobility scooter to be driven for just over 1,112 miles
Detailed breakdown of Sweet Ride energy use
Mobility scooter energy usage
- The Roma Medical mobility scooter (battery size = 212ah)
- Volts required to charge an average mobility scooter battery = 12 volts
- Taking the battery capacity of the mobility scooter and multiplying it by the voltage used to charge, gives us the energy required for each charge of the battery.
- 212ah battery x 12 volts = 2.544kWh 359kWh (average household energy savings with smart meter) / 2.544kWh (energy usage per charge) = 139 battery charges
- Therefore; 354kWh of energy would enable the average mobility scooter battery to be charged 139 times. If each charge gets you 8 miles then with a smart meter you'd get 1,112 miles.
- 8 miles (mobility scooter range) x 139 (number of battery charges which can be powered by 354kWh of energy) = 1,112 miles
Cakes radio ad
In this advert, we demonstrate how getting a smart meter could save enough energy to bake 236 cakes
Summary of our approach:
- It takes 1.5kWhs per hour of oven use
- Average energy savings per household with a smart meter is 2% per year. A 2% saving of the average household usage equates to 354kWh worth of energy savings.
- 354kWh allows you to bake 236 cakes
Detailed breakdown of cake energy use
354kWh (energy saving) / 1.5kWh (cost to bake one cake) = 236 cakes
Box sets radio ad
In this advert, we demonstrate how getting a smart meter could save enough energy to watch TV, non-stop, for 147 days
Summary of our approach:
- An average TV uses 0.1kWh per hour or 2.4kWh per day
- On average, households with a smart meter make a 2% saving on energy per year.
- This equates to 354kWh worth of energy savings 354kWh gets you 147 days of solid TV watching
Detailed breakdown of boxsets energy usage
The average TV uses 0.1kWh per hour or 2.4kWh per day of non-stop watching (David JC MacKay 2009 Sustainable Energy without the hot air)
TV (2.4kwh/day) 354kwh (saving) / TV (2.4kwh/day) = 147.5 days
Collective cities (Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle) radio ad
In this advert, we demonstrate how if the whole nation got a smart meter we could save enough energy to power Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle for a whole year.
Summary of our approach:
Combined, the cities of Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle have a total of 528,637 households (2011 Office of National Statistics Census)
If the average household saves 354kWh of energy per year with a smart meter and the average household uses 17,690kWh of energy per year in total - then the total national energy savings resulting from smart meters would be the equivalent of the energy usage of 529,053 households
Detailed breakdown of collective cities energy usage
If each household saves 354kWh with a smart meter; and there are 26,437,700 households in GB (Office for National Statistics - Households in the UK by region 1996-2017), then the potential total national energy savings resulting from smart meters equates to 9,358,945,800kWh.
354kWh (average household energy savings with a smart meter) x 26,437,700 (total number of households in GB) = 9,358,945,800kWh
If the average household uses 17,690kWh of energy per year; then the 9,358,945,800kWh national energy saving is the equivalent of the energy usage of 529,053 households
When can I get a smart meter?
Upgrading homes to smart meters won’t happen overnight. There are more than 26 million homes for the energy suppliers to get to, with the goal of every home having a smart meter by the end of 2020. The time it takes for you to get your smart meter will generally depend on two factors: