The British government has set out plans to increase smart meter installation in households across the country. In doing so, the government hopes to cut both energy bills and carbon emissions.
During the first quarter of 2020, domestic installation of smart meters fell by 15 per cent. This was partially because coronavirus-related lockdown restrictions stopped engineers from visiting homes and fitting the systems.
Some 980,000 smart meters were still installed by large energy suppliers, but this broke a run of 12 consecutive quarters where more than one million smart meters were installed in households across the country.
Now Britain has started to exit lockdown, energy suppliers are beginning to install smart meters again. As of this week, all of the ‘big six’ energy providers have restarted their smart meter operations to some extent. These companies are also joined by OVO, which is the second biggest energy supplier in the UK.
According to the government’s advice, fitting a smart meter in your home could help you save up to £250 on your energy bills. So, with installations restarting, now is a good time to run an online energy comparison and switch to a supplier that's fitting smart meters in your area.
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Smart meter benefits
In Britain, 21.5 million smart and advanced meters have already been fitted in homes and small businesses. It's thought that these smart meters will be instrumental in cutting up to £16 billion from the annual cost of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.
Plus, the nationwide roll-out of energy meters will also cut carbon emissions by 45 million tonnes, which is the equivalent of taking 26 million cars off the road for a year.
In the shorter term, getting a smart meter fitted in your home is a great way of instantly letting your supplier know if your energy usage changes over time, and your bills can be adjusted immediately to reflect this.
If you still rely on a meter reader visiting your home, your bill may not accurately show how much energy you’ve been using, and you risk receiving a nasty shock further down the line when your bill arrives. With a new smart meter, you can conveniently track your usage and get accurate bills every month. Plus, you can see where you’re using your energy on a daily basis and adjust your habits accordingly to lower your bills.
Smart meters are changing the way many customers use electricity in other ways, too. For example, some suppliers offer cheaper off-peak charging for electric vehicles, while others boost household income by helping renewable energy generators export green energy to the grid. In fact, in some instances, customers on smart tariffs have even been paid to use electricity during windy days when there is excess clean energy in the system.
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