The pros and cons of smart meters

Smart meters are next-generation style devices, which have a number of benefits for householders over traditional meters. Smart meters display useful information, showing householders exactly how much energy they’re using in monetary terms. Installing a meter may reduce your bills, as you will be more conscious about energy wastage, which may prompt you to make an effort to reduce usage.

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What is a smart meter and how can it benefit householders?

A smart meter is made up of two parts and is installed by your energy supplier. The traditional gas and electric meters are replaced with this smart meter which will forward readings to your supplier, resulting in a more accurate bill, rather than an estimate. The in-home display illustrates the usage in pounds and pence. This unit will show how much energy the householder is using in almost real time, as well as the energy used within the last hour or week, and the corresponding cost.

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What are the negatives associated with smart meters?

However, as a negative, some customers have reported that their meters lose connection due to the weather. Others have reported a beeping noise which is emitted, and the only way to stop the noise is to remove the batteries from the smart meter. Another downside is that the first generation of meters are not generally compatible with a change in supplier.

With gas, however, if you require a new gas meter box, the work can be carried out by a range of experienced professionals. They can offer a long-term solution by replacing your broken gas meter box with a new one.

According to Smart Energy International, a smart meter can save money in a variety of ways including recording usage, which householders can monitor.

It’s good news for householders, as a smart meter is a separate entity and Wi-Fi is not required in the home for it to be operational. Energy suppliers may contact their customers with the offer of installation. There is no upfront fee for this. If householders wish to receive a meter from their supplier, they can contact the company directly.

The Conservative Party pledged in 2017 to enable every home and small business to be offered a smart meter by 2020. Regulator Ofgem stated that the firms had to ensure ‘reasonable steps’ would be taken to fit meters by that time.

Author: Richard Brown

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