As part of the national smart meter rollout, the government wants every home and business in England, Scotland and Wales to have a smart meter installed. By the end of June 2023, 31.3 million smart meters had been installed across Britain.
We’ve already written lots about smart meters, but if you’re unsure about having one, we’re highlighting some of their main benefits, including how they can save you money on your energy bills.
Smart meters help you save energy and money
Having a smart meter will not automatically lower your energy bills but it will make you more aware of the energy you’re using. With real-time updates on the In-Home Display (IHD), you can see exactly how much energy you have used, and how much it will cost. There is also the option to set budgets for each day, week or month so you can keep on top of the amount you’re spending on energy.
Smart meters are good for the environment
As smart meters can send your energy supplier information about your energy usage as frequently as every half an hour, they help to give the grid a better picture of energy usage across the country. This means companies can see points where energy is needed most which can help to avoid power cuts and blackouts.
This more in-depth picture that the grid will get from smart meter data will also help to increase the amount of renewables in the country’s fuel mix, as these are the first forms of energy generation to be used when power is needed.
With the introduction of new time of use tariffs and load shifting, smart meters can help you benefit from reducing your energy consumption during peak times, meaning renewables can fulfill more of the energy needs and we can reduce reliance on fossil fuel power stations. By reducing your energy consumption, you will also reduce your carbon footprint, helping to fight climate change.
Smart meters save you time, by sending automatic meter readings
Smart meters automatically send meter readings to your energy supplier, meaning you don’t have to remember to provide monthly meter readings. The frequency with which meter readings are sent can depend on your energy company and your smart meter settings, but half hourly readings will be the most useful in terms of creating a smart grid.
There are some circumstances where you will need to submit a meter reading. Find out how to read a smart meter.
Smart meters enable you to join smart tariffs and grid flexibility events
Having a smart meter allows you access to smart time of use tariffs and National Grid flexibility events – which could earn you money for flexing when you use your power.
Returning this winter, the National Grid’s demand flexibility service incentivises homes and businesses to move their electricity consumption away from peak times, to help balance the electricity grid and reduce its carbon intensity. Participating customers then get paid a rate based on how much energy they have saved, compared with their typical usage.