Smart Meters 101

Written by Zach Rodgers

Smart meters. You may have heard a lot about them over the last few months. They’re the new energy meters that are set to be installed across the UK by 2020. And in the energy world they’re a pretty big deal. In a nutshell the energy industry remained virtually unchanged over the last 50 years. And the smart meter rollout is finally turning it upside down.

So, what does that mean to you as a customer? Well, not only do smart meters offer you a near real time view on how you’re using energy, they automatically send meter reads to your energy provider meaning you don’t have to pay anymore visits to the spider’s lair or expect visits from random meter readers.

Better visibility

Smart meters are just that, energy meters that show you exactly how much gas and electricity you’re using and what you’re spending in pounds and pence. This is displayed on a handy little device known as an Energy Monitor that can be placed anywhere in your home.

Meter reads

Don’t worry we feel your pain, when it comes to supplying a meter read to your energy provider. They’re always in the most awkward places, making it a real chore to read and that’s assuming you know what you’re looking for. They almost never have the words, Electric or Gas written on them and then there are the numbers themselves, usually a small pinwheel or valve that doesn’t make a lick of sense to anyone.

Thankfully, smart meters have digital displays and are in constant communication with your provider so don’t have to worry about the meter reads. Actually, you can forget about them, for good. And tell your kids about the awful times when you had to crawl into your cupboard every month.

Features

So, we know smart meters can display the energy you’re using, in near real time and provide your energy provider with meter readings. Saving you the hassle but, what else can they do?

  • No more estimated bills, since smart meters automatically provide your supplier with meter readings, it means you’ll no longer get estimated bills and you’ll pay for exactly what you’ve used.
  • Get important updates, with your Energy Monitor you can receive important updates from your provider. This could be a change to your supply or tariff as well as updates on power outages.
  • View your spending history, with smart metering you can view your spending history, see what you’ve used over the last week, month or even year. You can also see what in your house is using the most energy. For example, you could go around a turn each light switch, on and off to see how much your appliance are costing you. Then it’s as simple as working out how to keep the cost down and save money.
  • Close your account with ease, so, you’re closing your account because your moving out of your property. Don’t worry we get it. The last thing on your mind is taking a final meter reading. Luckily your smart meters got you covered and will send your final meter reads to your provider.

The future of smart meters

While right now the talents of smart meters lie in areas of data access, billing transparency and energy efficiency. As smart utility technology becomes even more sophisticated there is no telling what our smart meters will be capable. Hypothetically, smart meters could control our smart homes, plug into no end of devices and maybe even make us a brew… maybe.

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