Smart meters - why should i get one?
You might have heard that the Government is on a mission to switch us all to smart meters. So what are they? In a nutshell, smart meters are simply the next generation of gas and electricity meters. They can tell you your consumption in near real time. This means that energy suppliers can send you bills that tell you in pounds and pence exactly what you have used.
So what's in it for you?
No more billing surprises - if you pay by Direct Debit and haven't given a meter reading for a while, then we could be estimating your bill incorrectly. At some point, this could mean we could owe you a lot of money or you could owe us a lot of money. With smart meters you'll get payment reviews based on real readings, keeping your payments more in line with your actual usage.
No more meter readings - if you're already providing readings to keep on top of your finances, then you'll no longer have to do this. We'll get the readings automatically sent to us from the meter. All the hassle of reading your meter and providing readings will be a thing of the past; you'll have 5 minutes of your life back each month and never have to brave the cobwebs again.
A chance to save some money by better understanding of your energy costs - As well as installing smart meters, we'll also leave you with an in home display. This will connect remotely to your smart meters and is great for understanding your energy costs. And the best thing is that you don't even have to visit the meter itself - all the information you need will be shown on the device.
A chance to save some money with cool new tariffs - Octopus Energy are leading the way with new tariffs that are specifically designed for a smart enabled world. Traditionally your energy company has charged you the same price no matter when you've used it. But with tariffs such as Agile Octopus and Octopus Go being designed specifically for smart meter users, you can buy energy when it's cheapest. Can you afford not to have one?
Bragging rights with your neighbours - It's always nice to keep up with the Jones's, but this is new tech. So you wouldn't be keeping up with them, you'd be the Jones's - be one of the first to get your hands on a 2nd generation smart meter.
There have been lots of myths about the smart meter rollout. Some say that it is happening so that the Government can spy on you others that they cause cancer and all kinds of unpleasantness. This is simply not the case. We need to embrace sustainable types of energy such as solar and wind power if we are to meet targets for weaning us as a society off fossil fuels. That’s essential to save the planet and fight climate change. It’s a big job. But we need to make significant progress as we move from petrol cars to electric vehicles, for instance.
And getting a smart meter is the first step. The smart grid, as it is called, will balance renewable energy so that we can be sure that all your energy is renewable. Our electricity is 100% renewable. And for customers who opt for our Super Green Tariff – about the price of a latte extra each month – we will offset any carbon released by its production.
Our friends at SmartEnergyGB have produced a video to provide you with more information on this:
Below is a list of questions we are often asked about smart meters. And if your question is not here, simples. Get in touch. Our energy specialists are here to help.
What is a smart meter and how does it work?
Smart meters measure how much gas and electricity you’re using, as well as what it’s costing you and display this on a handy in-home display.
With a smart meter you can wave goodbye to complicated meter readings. The smart meter shows a digital meter reading and automatically sends us the reading at least once a month, so you’ll receive accurate, not estimated, bills.
What does a smart meter look like?
A smart meter comes as a pair, for gas and electricity, and they look like electricity meters. We’ll send engineers to install them at no extra cost to you. We’ll replace your traditional gas and electric meters so that your new smart meter will send your meter readings to us to ensure that you are billed exactly for the energy that you use, not a penny more, without the need to submit readings to us manually.
We’ll also fit an in-home display that will show you how much energy you're using in pounds and pence.
From your in-home display, you'll be able to read:
how much energy you’re using in near-real time
how much energy you used in the last hour, week and month (and what it cost)
updates in near-real time for electricity and every half hour for gas
Is my data safe?
The data your smart meter captures about your energy usage is strongly protected by law. You have control over it, including the right to decide how often your smart meter sends data to us (monthly is minimum, daily or half-hourly are optional).
Am I compatible to get a smart meter?
Smart meters operate on phone waves in the southern half of mainland Britain and on radio waves in the northern half. There are some signal issues with, for example, some of the Scottish islands but the government has assured us that they are working to fix this by the end of next year.
And those customers who have night-storage heaters might also need to wait until later this year when smart meter manufacturers have introduced a product capable of directing and controlling these heaters.
Before we visit your home, we'll carry out some basic checks to try to make sure that we won't have any problems on the day. From time to time, however, we won't be able to identify some issues until we're on site.