Home owners and small businesses will be, if they haven’t already been, contacted by their energy supplier to be offered a smart meter.
By the end of 2020, around 53 million smart meters will be fitted in more than 30 million premises,households and businesses, across Wales, Scotland and England.
The programme is already underway. It is currently in the first stages and nearly five million smart meters have already been installed across Great Britain.
Smart meters are the new generation of gas and electricity meters being installed by energy suppliers and this is everything upi need to know about the devices.
Smart meters replace the traditional energy meters we currently have in our homes and small businesses. They measure how much gas and electricity you use, sending data directly to your energy supplier. They also show you exactly how much you’re spending in pounds and pence.
The smart meter shows a digital meter reading and automatically sends the reading to your energy supplier at least once a month, so you should receive accurate, not estimated, bills.
According to Smart Energy GB there are plenty of gadgets that can help control energy use, but smart meters have two unique features:
On an in-home display, you’ll be able to read:
If you have a prepay meter, it will also show:
The smart meter rollout is an essential technology upgrade, unprecedented in its scale, to improve Great Britain’s energy infrastructure. Almost 6 million smart meters have already been installed in homes and small businesses across Great Britain.
You do not have to have a smart meter and can choose not to have one installed if you are offered by your energy supplier.
Nothing. Installation should be done by your energy supplier. You will need to be in the house, but appointments are estimated to take around 45 minutes, with power being switched off for approximately 20 minutes.
If you are a small business you might be charged a small amount, but it will depend on your energy provider.
Well it will only save you money if you use less electricity and gas, but Smart Energy have found that around 85% of people with smart meters cut the amount of energy they use around the house. Smart meters enable consumers to see exactly what they are spending on gas and electricity in real-time, making it easier to monitor and reduce usage.
Nearly two in three (63%) consumers have looked into ways they could reduce their energy use and more than half (56%) have improved the energy efficiency standards of their homes.
The smart meter connects direct with your energy supplier, so there is no need to submit readings or estimated bills.
The running costs is estimated to cost less than £1 a year.
No. Smart meters use an entirely separate, bespoke wireless system. You don’t need Wi-Fi in your home for it to work and it won’t use your Wi-Fi if you have it.
How can small businesses benefit from smart meters?
The cost of mains electricity is the number one concern for almost half (46 per cent) of small businesses according to Smart Energy GB, but estimated billing can make it very difficult for them to budget for their energy bills. Smart meters send energy readings directly to suppliers, meaning an end to estimated bills and inconvenient manual readings. Business owners can also access information on how much energy they’re spending every day, week and month. So they can spot the activities that cost the most, take action to save money and manage their cashflow better.
Accurate information on energy use can also help small businesses take advantage of time-of-use tariffs, which charge different amounts at different times of the day. Existing smart meter data tells us that businesses already use 46 per cent of their energy outside traditional working hours (8am-6pm). Smart meters can help businesses find ways to move even more of their energy use to off-peak hours, and save money as a result.
What if a business rents its premises – can it get a smart meter?
If the business has a contract for the supply of its gas and/or electricity, it can get a smart meter. If the business doesn’t have a contract for the supply of its gas and/or electricity, it should check with its landlord to see if it’s possible to get a smart meter for the building.
What are the economic benefits of small businesses getting smart meters?
The installation of smart meters in small businesses across Great Britain will bring approximately £1.44 billion in net small business consumer benefits.