A simples guide

How does a smart meter work?

As part of an initiative to bring about greater energy efficiency, energy suppliers have been told that they need to replace existing gas and electricity smart meters.

The smart meter won’t reduce how much energy you use by itself. However, because they provide useful information on how much energy you’re using, and of course how much it’s costing you, the hope is that people will become more aware about energy consumption and as a result consume less.

Although some energy companies have begun the roll out of the new meters, you shouldn’t necessarily expect anything to change in the near future. The energy companies have until the end of the year 2020 to rollout the meters. It’s probably not surprising it will take a while when you consider that the UK’s 30 million homes and small businesses have around 53 million meters to replace!

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How do they actually work?

Your energy company will replace your existing meter with a new smart meter. Depending on where your meter is at your property, this should take about an hour per meter and will be undertaken by an engineer from your energy company.

The smart meters use mobile technology to wirelessly relay your information to your energy company. This means no more meter readings and no more estimated bills. To help keep consumers’ data more secure, a new network is being created to transmit the data to the energy companies.

As well as sending the information to your energy company, you will also get real-time information on a new in-house display. With this information you should be in a better position to understand how much energy you’re consuming and hopefully help you to reduce your bills.

Will they work for everyone?

Relying on mobile technology brings its own limitations. If your house suffers from poor reception, or no mobile coverage at all, your meter would struggle to communicate to the network – you may need to speak to your supplier if you’re worried about this.

So whether you’ve got a smart meter or not, it could pay to switch energy provider. Why not see if you could save money by switching today?