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Why should I get a smart meter?

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By Olly Rose
8 Sep 2021


The days of having someone knock on your door to read your meter will soon be a distant memory thanks to smart meters. We’ve all heard of them by now, but what is a smart meter and why should you get one?

Smart meters send meter readings from your house direct to your energy supplier, so you don’t need to answer the door to a meter reader and your readings are always up to date, meaning you can wave goodbye to estimated bills and only pay for the energy you use.

In other words, a smart meter is just like a traditional gas and electricity meter, but more clever. It uses modern technology to measure your energy consumption and report it back to your supplier, so you don’t have to.

What is a smart meter?
The smart meter rollout was set in motion by the UK government in 2011. The first generation of smart meter, the SMETS1 (SMETS stands for Smart Metering Equipment Technical Specifications) has now been overtaken by the SMETS2, the current industry standard.

A smart meter has two parts: the meter itself and the in-home display (IHD) unit. The meter uses a secure wireless data connection to send your readings to your supplier and the display shows you how much energy you’re using and how much it’s costing you.

Here at Ecotricity, we’re big fans of smart meters. As Britain’s greenest energy provider our mission is to end fossil fuels and we believe smart meters will help our customers to understand, and reduce, their energy consumption. It’s great for both the planet and lower bills.

Why should I get a smart meter?
If you don’t have one, your smart meters will be free – there’s no cost for having one or getting it installed. And there are plenty of other smart meter advantages – here are our top four.

Reasons to get a smart meter

1. Smart meters give you more accurate bills.

They mean an end to estimated bills because your supplier always has an up-to-date reading of your energy use and only charges you for that.

2. Smart meters help you become more energy conscious and reduce your usage.

You know the old saying ‘knowledge is power’? With a smart meter display, it’s easy to see what energy you’re using and when, and how much it’s costing.

We get asked a lot whether a smart meter will save a customer money. And the answer is simple: it’s not the meter that saves you money, it’s how you use the information you get from the meter that will help you make savings.

You’ll get a clearer insight into how much energy different appliances use, and you can change your behaviour accordingly – like only boiling the water you need to make a cuppa (kettles are surprisingly energy-greedy), turning off appliances at bedtime, making sure the washing machine is full when you use it, and drying your clothes outside on the line.

3. In the future, smart meters will allow you to take advantage of advanced time-of-use tariffs.

Energy suppliers, including us, have big plans to give you even more control over your energy usage. When time-of-use tariffs launch, smart meter customers will be able to cut their bills by using energy at cheaper times and help fight the climate crisis by using energy intensive appliances when there’s lots of green energy available.

4. Smart meters help energy network operators balance the grid by providing more information about our energy consumption patterns.

Knowing about UK consumers’ energy usage will enable the National Grid and energy suppliers to be more efficient about the energy they produce and make changes that will benefit the environment. The more people who use smart meters across the country, the more accurate a picture the network operators will have of our energy usage.

If you are a current Ecotricity customer and want to find out more about our SMETS2 rollout, head over to our Smart Meters FAQ section

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