Smart meters give customers power over their energy consumption, enabling them to take energy-saving steps that can help them save money on their bills and mitigate price increases. Smart meters are the next generation of gas and electricity meters, and they come with a variety of intelligent features.
They may, for example, use an In Home Monitor to tell you how much energy you use (IHD). They interact directly with your energy provider, ensuring that you receive correct bills and that your energy provider does not need to visit your home to read your meter in the future.
Smart meter advantages
Smart meters have many advantages. Consider the following scenario:
Smart meters offer near real-time energy usage data in pounds and pence, helping you to better control your energy consumption, save money, and reduce emissions.
Smart meters will remove estimated billing; you will only be paid for the electricity you use, allowing you to prepare ahead of time. Smart meters can make switching suppliers simpler and quicker, making the best offers more available.
A smart meter and the In-Home Display will not be charged separately. Today, you pay for the cost of your meter and its maintenance through your energy bills, and smart meters would be no different.
Benefits for consumers who pay in advance
Smart meters may be set up to operate in either a prepayment or credit mode. Prepayment consumers will benefit from using a smart meter in particular. Consider the following scenario:
Your energy provider will be able to provide you with new and more flexible ways to top up your meter that don’t require you to go to a store. You’ll be able to check your balance on your convenient online account. So that you don’t run out of credit accidentally, place your credit card on show at home.
Your smart meter can be programmed to automatically top up so that you won’t be left without power if you run out of credit late at night or when the shops are closed.
The Smart Energy GB website has more detail on the advantages of smart meters, as well as what they are and how they operate.
The government has made certain that adequate consumer protection laws are in place:
There will be no sales during the installation tour, but installers are required to provide energy efficiency advice. Before they can speak to you about their own goods, they’ll need your permission ahead of time.
The Smart Meter Installation Code of Practice defines these criteria.
Consumer privacy is essential.
Apart from where it is required for billing and other regulated purposes, you will have a say in how your energy consumption data is used.
On your In-Home Display, you’ll be able to see real-time energy consumption data as well as weekly and monthly consumption data. Should you wish, you will also be able to retrieve more comprehensive historical data from your home network.
Your energy provider, as well as the energy networks, have access to the data they need to give you accurate bills and perform other important tasks.
To view half-hourly data or use data for marketing purposes, suppliers would need your permission. If you object, they will access regular data.
You’ll also be able to exchange details with third parties (such as switching sites) if you want them to help you find the best tariff.
Customers should be aware of their rights and options when a smart meter is built, according to the Data Guide for Smart Meters released by Energy UK.
Smart meters can make switching suppliers simpler and faster in the long run. Both energy suppliers will be able to use smart meters that are connected to the national grid.
In the meantime, depending on which energy provider you turn to, the first generation of smart meters can temporarily lose some smart functionality. If your new energy supplier does not embrace smart functionality when you turn, the meter will typically still be used in ‘traditional’ mode. The In Home Monitor that came with the smart meter should continue to function and provide you with near real-time details about your energy use.
SMETS1 meters are being moved remotely into the national smart metering system as part of a solution being built to ensure that customers with these meters keep their smart services when they turn. It is anticipated that this will begin in late 2018.
Domestic customers will be able to see if the smart services they get will be retained if they move energy suppliers, thanks to new regulations implemented by Ofgem. The rules stipulate that an energy supplier installing a first-generation (SMETS1) smart meter must warn the customer that if the customer changes suppliers, the meter’s functionality may be lost.
Safety is paramount.
Smart meters are protected by product safety legislation in the United Kingdom and the European Union, which allows manufacturers to ensure that any product they put on the market is safe. Smart meters, like a variety of other devices used in homes and businesses around the UK, are the subject of advice and information from Public Health England (formerly The Health Protection Agency).
The evidence indicates that exposure to the radio waves emitted by smart meters does not pose a health risk, according to Public Health England. More details on smart meters and their effect on health.