So we recently got a Smart Meter fitted and I thought I would do a short guide to Smart Meters and how do get your own free Smart Meter;
What is a Smart Meter?
Smart Meters are the latest generation of gas and electricity technology created in a bid to improve energy efficiency. They have been featured in the news (and watchdog!) quite a bit recently as the aim is to have a smart meter in every home. By 2020 the government expects around 53 million smart meters to be fitted and nearly 7 million have already been installed. We are one of these households with a smart meter as we had our own installed last week. But what exactly is a Smart Meter you may ask? Smart Meters measure how much gas and electricity you are using and how much its costing you in pounds and pence. This information is shown on a the display on an in home device. You need a smart meter for both gas and electricity each and if you are a dual fuel customer this will be fitted at the same time, however you still only need one device as it will display both readings. If your gas and electricity are with different suppliers the smart meters will be installed separately by each company.
Advantages of a Smart Meter?
The main advantage of a smart meter is that it tells you the actual cost of the fuel you are using in almost real time. This means you will know what your actual bill is rather than being given an estimated bill. Another possible benefit to being able to see how much you are spending is that it may be motivating to make changes to reduce how much fuel you are using. Smart Meters also mean there won’t be any nasty surprises when its time for the bill to arrive.
Smart Meters offer convenience for customers as the data from their meters will be transmitted wirelessly to their energy company which will replace the need to give manual meter readings or have somebody to come to your home to read them. Readings will also apparently be far more accurate than doing it manually.
Smart Meters will give customers a better understanding of their energy usage. On the smart meter device display unit you will be able to see how your lifestyle impacts your fuel consumption which may lead to changes in habits and being able to make smarter decisions about saving energy and whether your current supplier is right for you.
With companies being able to see your data, suppliers will also have a better understanding of your energy use and therefore may be mean they can offer more innovative tariffs.
Are there any disadvantages?
The only possible disadvantage of smart meters I have come across is that there may be some compatibility issues for some customers although your supplier should be able to tell you if there is an issue. There is also of course the hassle of possibly needing to take a day off work for the installation.
How do I get my free Smart Meter?
Smart Meters are absolutely free (for us not the government that is)! To get your free Smart Meter you simply need to contact your energy supplier to arrange an installation. We have both our electricity and gas with First Utility so we contacted them who arrange a date to do the job which took around 2 hours.
Free Smart Meters with
We are quite interested to see whether having a Smart meter will actually make a difference to our energy usage and hopefully have the added bonus of saving us a little money 🙂