Many homes in the UK already have a smart meter as the rollout is well underway so you may wonder if it is time you upgraded to one.
The use of smart meters does relate to the digital age yet how they save you money on energy consumption is up for debate.
Simply installing a smart meter will not save you money on your energy bills, it all depends on how you use one and how much attention you pay to it.
We should all be more proactive in how we can save money on our energy bills and a smart meter is one way to demonstrate those savings.
In this guide, we will look at the pros and cons of having a smart meter, and whether they can save you money.
The Pros Of Having A Smart Meter
Just by having the ability to see your energy consumption throughout the day, and the resulting price, can alter a household’s habits.
Typical actions such as putting the kettle on in the morning, using the washing machine during the day, or leaving electrical appliances on standby overnight can all be seen to have a visible cost.
With a tangible price next to each action, a household can become more proactive in reducing their energy consumption as they can see the financial impact it is having.
The data on how each home consumes energy can also help an energy company work out which tariff is better suited to match each home’s energy demands and mean no need to provide monthly meter readings which prevents estimated bills.
A change in habits by not putting the kettle on as often as you would do can see a real reduction in energy costs over time and the smart meter provides that evidence.
The smart meter may also help you decide to have a more energy-efficient system installed if you feel that the current setup is costing you an excessive amount of money.
This can be seen particularly in the colder months when energy consumption increases to keep homes warm.
If the current heating system seems inefficient then you could install an underfloor heating system such as Wundatherm’s Premium+ Overfloor boards.
A smart heating control system like WundaSmart could also be installed which would allow you to adjust the heating in your home remotely using an app.
Over time, you would be able to see how a highly effective heating system can lower your energy costs while you enjoy the heating exactly when you want it.
The Cons Of Having A Smart Meter
Though millions of smart meters have been installed, there have been issues relating to their use.
A significant number of those smart meters have struggled to communicate with the wider network so households fail to enjoy the full benefits of having one.
Certain problems also reveal themselves when a customer decides to change energy providers as the smart meter fails to work as effectively after the switch has occurred.
Many households simply do not want a change to their home and refuse to have a smart meter installed which does go against the aims of the rollout and sees energy companies double up their efforts.
Do Smart Meters Save Money?
By showing how your daily heating and energy consumption habits all add up, a smart meter can help a household change and reduce its energy consumption.
By finding out how much a long bath actually costs, or every time you put the kettle on, can make individuals think again about turning the hot water on or making a brew just for themselves.
The smart meter may well prompt a household into action for forgoing those habits that truly ramp up energy bills.
Some habits are deemed more essential than others, such as putting the dishwasher on or having a shower, yet those frivolities such as a hot tub may be seen as not worth it in the long run when it is clear how much they cost.
With an in-home display, you can set a budget for your energy costs, and whenever you go above that amount you should hear a beep.
Should you have a smart pay-as-you-go meter, you can also set up an alert to let you know when to top up as credit is running low.
These alerts may not save you money but they can become increasingly convenient ways of taking more control over your energy consumption.
While a smart meter may not save you money on its own, it will make you more aware of how much you are spending on energy bills.
With that knowledge alone, you can become more proactive in reducing your energy costs and see them being reduced in real-time.
You can even set a budget and it would be shown on your in-home display whenever you have gone over that set amount and you may even hear a beep.
Should you believe that you have a particularly inefficient heating system in your home then you may look towards a smart heating control system or underfloor heating as alternatives.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Old Meters Removed When A Smart Meter Is Installed?
What typically happens with a smart meter installation is that the engineer will check the boiler and gas appliances to judge whether they are in good working order.
Final meter readings will be taken from the meters that are being replaced and then they are removed. By taking the final meter readings, the billing can continue with the account up to date.
Will I Get Charged For Having A Smart Meter Installed?
Unless there is a nefarious reason for the smart meter being installed, for instance, if the old meter was damaged, it should be installed free of charge.
If you do want to pre-empt the rollout then you should be able to contact your energy company and ask to have one installed.