Between now and 2020, every household in England, Scotland and Wales will be entitled to a free smart meter and meter display in the national smart meter rollout.
Smart meter will replace the old fashioned Gas and Electricity meters currently installed in most homes. Replacing traditional meters (includes prepay key meters), they will provide an accurate way to only pay for what we use.
The current systems rely on outdated machines and estimated usage. Using a smart display the consumer will be able to monitor in real time how much they are spending. I am not sure how advanced these meters will be, but it might be possible in some cases to see what part of a day or month your usage is highest. This kind of data could be really useful in your bid to save money.
It should make the awful job of changing providers a little easier and reduce the hassle factor when the supplier tries to complain you have been using more energy than you actually have!
How to get a smart meter
There will be no extra charge for getting a smart meter and no change will be added to your bills (yes, free, even in Cambridge!). Your existing supplier will contact you when ready between now and 2020. You could call them up to ask if you can get fitted sooner. You will have to fix a day and time for the supplier to visit and somebody will need to be in during installation, which could take a few hours depending on the current setup.
What if you are renting a property?
If you are renting and pay gas and/or electricity bills yourself and they’re addressed to you and not your landlord, then you don’t need your landlord’s permission to get a smart meter (but make sure you inform them). Otherwise, you must check with your landlord first before booking an installation.
At the moment, you will need good mobile phone coverage
Smart meters installed today are reliant on mobile phone technology, which is possibly the reason the rollout is taking at least 4 years to complete. Apparently there is going to be a national communications network for smart meters which is currently being built which will not rely on mobile phone coverage.
I think this is a positive step forward and a real benefit to everybody, not just the affluent few. It’s a chance for us all to measure and pay for only the energy we need. A much greener and efficient system that could really be what it says it is going to be, a smart meter for a smart future!
For more information about smart meters, please read the website https://www.smartenergygb.org/
You can also watch this video to give you an introduction at https://youtu.be/2AOI0KSd23o
Images courtesy of www.anoukproductions.com
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