Smart meters driving greater awareness of consumption and reducing energy usage – Compare the Market research

  • The majority (71%) of households with smart meters say that the devices have made them more aware of their energy consumption

  • Half (49%) have reduced their energy usage as a result of having a smart meter

  • Nearly two thirds (63%) check their smart meter every week

  • One in ten (11%) have opted not to get a smart meter until the updated version of the technology is rolled-out

Smart meters are increasing people’s awareness of their energy consumption and leading to a reduction of energy usage. This is one of the key findings from research commissioned by Compare the Market, which looks at how smart meter ownership is impacting energy engagement.  

The majority (71%) of those polled who have smart meters* say that the device has made them more aware of their energy consumption, with a third (34%) stating that their smart meter has made them “a lot more aware”.  Half (49%) of respondents say that they have decreased their usage following the installation of a smart meter.

Households are using their smart meter devices more and more. Nearly two thirds (63%) of smart meter owners check their meter or dashboard at least once a week. A third (32%) check their consumption on a daily basis. The vast majority understand their smart meter readings and displayed information, albeit with varying degrees of certainty.

However, some challenges remain. More than two thirds (68%) of those polled have not yet had a smart meter installed and a quarter (26%) haven’t even been offered a smart meter by their energy company. One in ten (11%) are aware of the first-generation smart meters’ compatibility and functionality issues and have decided to wait until the second generation is rolled-out before getting one installed. 

Peter Earl

Peter Earl

Head of Energy

Compare the Market

“It’s great to see such a surge in savviness amongst smart meter consumers. One of the main aims of the smart meter programme is to get people engaging with their energy usage. This seems to be working. We know from previous research that many people were significantly underestimating their annual spend – by £250 – due to their lack of engagement. Smart meters should address this issue. They will help people to cut down on energy use, save money and do their bit for the environment too.  

“However, the fact that only 20% of current smart meter owners have considered switching since getting their smart meter is worrying. It may be that they are put off switching because they are worried that their smart meter will lose its functionality post switch. Energy suppliers can’t roll out the next generation of smart meters – which address this issue – soon enough. The real value of smart meters is around accuracy of meter readings, which should allow people to make informed decisions about their tariff. If they feel they can’t switch, the benefits are largely lost.”