Eighty two per cent of people with smart meters are taking steps to reduce their energy use and eighty one per cent would recommend smart meters to other people.
These have already been fitted in households and micro-businesses, and are among the findings of a new survey across Britain, where almost five million smart meters 53 million meters are due to be installed by 2020.
Smart meters will replace the traditional meters we currently have in our homes and will bring everyone in Great Britain accurate bills at no additional cost. They show exactly how much gas and electricity is used in pounds and pence and in near real time. With this information consumers will know exactly how much the next bill will be, and can make informed choices about their energy use.
The recent Smart energy outlook survey, carried out for Smart Energy GB twice a year by independent research agency Populus, also showed that 87 per cent of people with smart meters have a better idea of what they’re spending on energy. This increased visibility of costs may be of particular benefit to those on a low income, who are the group most likely to recommend a smart meter to others (88 per cent, compared to 81 per cent of the general public).
The research highlighted the importance of in-home displays (IHDs), which are providing this visibility and helping people get their gas and electricity under control. Eight out of ten people with an IHD check it regularly and nearly nine in ten (88 per cent) of those with an IHD say that they have a better idea of what they’re spending on energy, compared to 76 per cent of those who have a smart meter but not an IHD.
Smart Meters are particularly useful for prepay customers, a third of whom are on a low income. They enable people to easily keep track of credit, so they can keep track of their budgets and avoid running into expensive emergency credit. Credit can be added immediately and conveniently online, over the phone or in store – removing the need to top up often hard to reach meters with a key and eradicating the inconvenience and lack of visibility that comes with an analogue key system. Smart meters will also make prepay cheaper as many of the costs currently associated with the prepay system – such as expensive, separate meters – will be removed.
Almost 5 million smart meters have already been installed across Britain, and this research shows that those who have them are already using them to change their energy-use behaviour and get their gas and electricity use under control. As the smart meter rollout picks up pace this year, we look forward to seeing these benefits replicated in homes across the country.