What’s the deal with smart meters?

Smart meters are on the rise, more and more homes are being kitted out with the digital cost-cutters and the implementation of them in all homes is inevitable. In 2009, the government announced its plan to have a smart meter installed in every home by 2020. It was then announced after that all homeowners would be given the choice. So what does that mean for you?

 

So first off, what is a smart meter?

A smart meter is a digitised version of your current gas/electricity meters. They cut out the middleman and send your readings to your suppliers, and therefore will receive more accurate readings. Win-win!

Smart readers also have a digital interface for you to see what you’re spending your money on, and what appliances take up the most energy. This is a great way for you to determine where your money is going and what you need to do to slash your costs.

That sounds great, what’s the issue?

A lot of customers felt pressured into the first generation of the smart meter. Although there seems to be a lot of benefits to smart meters, homeowners were worried about the cost of the rollout, how difficult it would be to switch suppliers and the privacy and safety issues with installation.

“The first generation smart meters (known as “SMETS1” meters) do not all remain in ‘smart mode’ if you change your energy supplier. So, depending on who you switch to, your smart meter may no longer give automatic meter readings or show you how much you’re spending on the in-home display.” – USwitch, 2018

Is there a better option?

There is! If you want a smart metre but don’t want the hassle of needing to change it everytime you switch providers, you can opt for the second generation of smart meters, “SMETS2”.

This gives you all the previous benefits, except you can change providers easily! This version of the smart meter will start being installed over the next 12 months.

  • If you already have a smart meter, upgrades are supposed to be happening “over the airwaves”, though we’re yet to see if this has actually happened
  • If you haven’t had a smart meter previously, make sure to ask for the second generation when booking your appointment

Is there anything else I should know?

There’s tons of information about the subject on USwitch’s blog post, it’ll answer every question you could think of!