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What is a smart meter?

Over the last few years, it’s probable that you’ve heard a lot about so called ‘Smart Meters’, but what exactly are they and how can they help? Effectively they are designed to replace your gas and electricity meters. However, they can be confused with energy monitors, and many people who think they have a smart meter actually have an energy monitor. Smart meters are high-tech electricity and gas meters that measure your exact gas and electricity usage and relay the information back to your energy supplier. The overwhelming advantage of this, of course, is no more estimated bills. Energy monitors are far less complex, simply giving you an estimate of the amount of electricity you are using. Because smart meters communicate directly with your supplier, they remove the need for meter readers and for the guesswork energy companies need to use between readings. They transmit regular meter readings to your supplier automatically, and this means accurate bills based on your actual usage. Going forward, smart meters may well evolve, introducing concepts such as improved time-of-day tariffs that could offer cheaper energy prices at off-peak times. This also helps the suppliers, as it would smooth out national energy usage throughout the day. Obviously the key to using smart meters is to use the real-time information to save yourself  money. You need to discipline yourself into using the information provided to monitor where you could reduce your energy consumption, and then take steps to do so. Smart meters, again differing from energy monitors, need to be installed by a professional. If you’d like more information on these and other energy efficiency services, please contact us or download our helpful brochure. UHL a leading UK Energy Broker  

Published by Utility Helpline on (modified )