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04 Apr 2018
During July there was news coverage about Smart Meters and if (and how much) consumers will save if they have one installed.
The Government intention is to replace old-style meters for gas & electricity with “smart” ones in every home in the country by 2020. It now appears that this target will be missed. But consumers do not need to worry as having a smart meter installed is still optional. Should your supplier insist, contact
What is a Smart Meter?
They communicate directly with the energy provider so that no one will receive an estimated bill, as fuel consumption is automatically updated.
How do they communicate with the energy companies? At present this is over the mobile phone network – which does present problems in areas with poor mobile phone coverage. But a new network will be set up for smart meters to ensure good coverage.
Will it cost me to have a smart meter?
No – the costs are covered by the energy provider – but you will need to be at home when it is installed.
As a consumer, will I save money on my fuel bills? If you opt to have an “in home digital display” you will be able to see how much energy each electrical or gas appliance uses (and the cost) which encourages many people to try to reduce the amount of fuel used by using more energy efficient goods, such as light bulbs, kettles etc. But unless you as a user are proactive – there is no guarantee that you will save money!
Do I have to wait to be offered one by my energy company?
No – you can ask to have one installed at any time – but some energy companies may not be able to offer you one.
Will my smart meter still work?
I’ve seen a lot in the news about smart meters becoming “dumb” meters if you switch energy companies
Currently, the majority of meters being installed are first generation ones which can have a problem and may have to be replaced. The next generation of smart meters will be rolled out and these, as they are more likely to be on the new network rather than reliant on the mobile phone network, are “switchable”. If you do have a problem, you can ask your new supplier to install a new meter ….
Web links for further information about Smart meters:
For good general information and how to get help with smart meter problems:
This also gives information about who can’t have one:
Information from the company promoting smart meters:
And finally, a recent BBC article: