Smart Meters Explained

Smart meters are the new generation of energy meter. Smart meters replace or will eventually replace your existing meters. Smart meters send automatically electronic meter readings to your energy supplier and cut out the need to send readings to your energy supplier.

What do smart meters do?

Smart meters transmit meter readings regularly to your energy supplier. They remove the need for your meter to be read. One advantage of having a smart meter is that you should get accurate bills based on your actual usage. Smart meters allow data to be read remotely and display this data on a device inside your home. Smart meters are the visible part of the smart metering system. Smart meters provide real-time information on how much energy you have used in pounds and in units of energy.

Will I get a smart meter?

The UK government has decided that every home in the UK should be offered smart meters by 2019. However, it is still unclear when the roll-out will start. Therefore, you may have to wait few years before you get your smart meter. Smart meters are around the same size or slightly bigger than your current meters, their installation is carried out at no cost for you by a trained installer from the energy supplier. During the installation, your energy supplier may offer to carry out an energy-efficiency inspection of your home. However you don’t have to take up any of its recommendations, or buy any additional products. Once your smart meter is installed you can get advice on how to use it properly, from either your energy supplier or from Energy Saving Trust. Your smart meter will then have to be replaced every 10 years.

Will smart meters save me money?

Smart meters will enable your energy supplier to generate more accurate energy bills and will remove the cost of meter readings (currently added to your energy bills. You will be able to save more money if you actively use the information provided by your smart meter to see where and when you could reduce your energy consumption. The UK government estimates that the average customer will save on average £23 a year on his energy bill by 2020 as a result of the smart metering roll-out. This is purely estimation as the average saving will depend if households are actively changing their energy habits thanks to smart meters. You can find out how reducing your energy consumption and cutting your energy bills by reading our energy saving tips page.

Find out more about smart meters on the Energy Saving Trust website.