The benefits of a smart meter for you and for Great Britain
Why it’s time to get yours
If you like to keep a close eye on your energy use, a smart meter
Smart meters and the in-home display tell you how much energy you’re using. That can help you decide when to turn the heating up, or turn the TV off stand-by.
They also provide information to make Great Britain’s energy system smarter too.
Many people are getting smart meters installed in their homes. Here are some of the reasons people want them:
- to keep a closer eye on how much energy you’re using, and how much you’re spending
- to work out where you may be able to save energy
- to get bills based on how much energy you used – not an estimate
- to make Britain’s energy system more flexible and efficient, based on how much energy the country needs and when it needs it
Smart meters record how much electricity or gas you use – just like your
But with a smart meter, your gas and electricity readings are sent directly and securely to your energy supplier. This means no more digging around in a cupboard or getting on a ladder to read the meter.
You can also see how much energy you’re using, on an in-home display.
The in-home display is sometimes called an IHD. It comes with the smart meter.
Smart meters can help you save energy, but it’s not automatic. Many people find the in-home display useful. It allows you to have more information about your energy usage. This can help you work out how to save energy and money around the home.
How does it all work?
1. The smart meter records your energy use, as you use it.
2. The IHD shows how much energy you’re using, and what you’ve spent.
3.The smart meter automatically sends readings to your energy supplier.
4. You get a bill based on the amount of gas and electricity you used.
Smart meters aren’t connected to the internet. The in-home display isn’t connected to the internet, either. So you don’t need to have internet access to get one.
Prepay smart meters
If you’re on a prepay meter, you can get a smart meter. With a prepay smart meter, you can top up online or via a mobile phone as well as in a shop. You can see on your prepay smart meter in-home display when you need to top up.
Seeing how much energy you’ve used
Your in-home display will show you how much energy you’ve used and how much it has cost.
See how much you’ve used today, this week or this month.
If you only have a smart meter for gas, the in-home display will only you show you how much gas you use. If you only have a smart meter for electricity, the in-home display will only show you how much electricity you use.
Different in-home displays have other features too. The person installing your smart meter should show you how to use them.
Accessible in-home display (AIHD)
The accessible in-home display is sometimes called an AIHD. If you need
an accessible in-home display, they’re available from some suppliers.
An AIHD could be helpful if you are:
- blind or partially sighted
- have difficulties using your hands or wrists, or
- have difficulties with memory loss
They have larger buttons and can read information out loud. Ask your energy supplier
about an accessible in-home display.
Getting your smart meter installed
Smart meters are installed by gas and electricity companies. They replace your old energy meters, and do it all safely and securely. There is no extra cost to you.
Here’s how it works:
- Contact your energy supplier to arrange a time and date for the smart meter to be installed.
- The person installing your meter will turn up and show you their ID at the arranged time. If they don’t show you ID, you can ask to see it.
- They will disconnect the existing meter and replace it with a smart meter.
- Once the smart meter is working, the person installing the meter will show you how to use the in-home display.
If your gas and electricity meters are being replaced at the same time, it will take around two hours. If it’s just one meter, it could be quicker.
- you will need to be at home when the smart meters are installed
- your energy supply will be turned off for a short time while the smart meter is being nstalled. If you need energy to help you with a health condition, please let your energy supplier know when you arrange the appointment
Some homes can’t get a smart meter yet but will be able to get one before the end of the rollout. Your energy supplier can tell you if you can have one. They can also tell you how soon you can get one installed.
How smart meters make Britain’s energy system smarter
As a nation, we are using more energy. We also want to make better use of green energy, like solar power and wind. That means we need a flexible energy system that provides more power, when people want it.
Smart meters help, because they provide information about how much energy people use at different times of day and of the year.
That information can help make better decisions about how energy is produced and stored.
How your information helps
The only people who can see your information are you and your energy supplier.
And the only information that gets sent to energy suppliers is how much energy you use and when you use it. They can’t see how you’re using that energy, or when the washing machine is on!
If you want a smart meter here’s what to do next
Search ‘get a smart meter’ today. Or get in touch with your energy supplier and ask if you can get one.
You can find contact details on your bill. Or to find some supplier’s free-phone and textphone numbers visit: smartenergyGB.org/supplier-free-phone-numbers