By 2022, smart meters will be available in all British residences and small businesses. Across all energy suppliers, there have been more than 24 million smart meters had been installed as of the end of Q3 2021.
Customers should find it simpler to understand how much energy they are using and how much it is costing them after the launch.
Your energy provider most likely already offered you a smart meter, but what are smart meters, and how do they work? What are the drawbacks of smart meters, and should you acquire one?
Advantages of a Pay As You Go Smart Meter
- There are no costs when having a smart meter fitted.
- Savings potential: Smart meters can assist households in lowering their energy costs by providing information about their energy usage and guiding them in changing their behaviour to find savings.
- Lessen your influence on damaging the environment by decreasing your carbon footprint.
- See how your money is spent: smart meters can help consumers understand their energy usage. This can help you to implement measures such as installing better-fitted windows and doors. At EPC For You we provide a full EPC Survey which can help you identify areas to improve your energy efficiency.
- No need to send meter readings as a smart meter transmits data regarding your energy use automatically, you no longer need to rummage through your meter box, or let the engineer in to jot down your readings.
- Estimated bills: If you don’t provide monthly readings, you won’t receive anticipated invoices based on your previous usage. You’ll only pay for the energy you use with accurate bills. Handy for landlords after a tenant leaves their property. No outstanding bills.
Customers with pre-payment meters will find this useful because it can make it easier for pay-as-you-go homes to keep track of their balance and even send out warnings when meters are getting low. Enabling users to top off their meters using an app on your phone, so removing the need to go to the local store.
- High customer satisfaction rates. According to a survey carried out by consumer protection group Citizens Advice, 80% of families that have previously acquired smart meters are happy with them.
- Customers without smart meters risk missing out on bargains: looking to the future, only customers with smart meters will be able to take advantage of some of the finest energy deals. One of these may be a customised tariff based on the unique energy requirements and usage of your home.
Customers, such as those with Economy 7 and Economy 10, pay two separate rates for power and can benefit from smart meters by having a greater understanding of their energy usage and adherence to off-peak times.
Future smart meters may make auto-switching easier by allowing users to change their energy providers easily and automatically.
Disadvantages of a Smart Meter
- The initial cost, estimated at approx. £11 billion, will be distributed over all of our gas and electric bills over the next years. The deployment would have increased each household’s energy costs by £374. However, Citizens Advice cautioned that the rollout of these meters is expected to exceed the budget by at least £1 billion, increasing costs by adding £17 extra onto bills.
- Savings require proactive use; smart meters do not always result in savings. Customers won’t see their bills decrease unless they actively interact with the meter and alter their behaviour in response to the data it provides.
- Smart meters may become useless after changing suppliers: Most smart meters now in use are first-phase devices, these frequently become useless after energy consumers transfer providers. Although the rollout of the second phase of smart meters has been quite constrained, they do not have this flaw.
- Some customers with prepayment meters are not eligible for smart meters, even though their availability is limited. These customers aren’t currently able to purchase smart meters from many suppliers.
- Privacy Issues – Some consumers may worry that information regarding their usage would be made available to outside parties due to privacy issues. Energy providers are now prohibited by UK law from disclosing any customer information without that person’s express consent.
Smart meters can assist you in better managing your energy consumption, increasing the sustainability of your home, and lowering your energy costs.
But smart meters have advantages that extend beyond simply individual homes. The UK’s energy infrastructure is quietly undergoing a transformation and modernization thanks in part to smart meters.