10 Questions on ….. Smart Meters

1  What are Smart Meters?
Smart meters are the next generation of gas and electricity meters. They collect information about your energy use – electronically at regular intervals.

2  Why are Smart Meters in the News?
The Government (The Department of Energy and Climate Change) has announced that smart meters are going to be the norm in the UK and rolled out throughout the country.

3  Won’t this mean a lot of changes ?
Yes – the overall strategy and timetable set out by the Department of Energy and Climate Change estimates that the installation of 53 million smart meters in 30 million homes and businesses across Great Britain will be required.  This is estimated to have a net benefit to the nation of £7.3 billion over the next twenty years based on actual tests in such countries as Sweden and the USA.

4  How does a Smart Meter work?
This is a conventional digital volume data meter which can electronically pass over the data to a remote location and show the cost of resources being used in real time.

5  What are the benefits of a Smart Meter to the electricity or gas company?
Simply, cheaper overheads as there will be no more meter readings – your energy supplier will receive regular accurate data information on energy usage automatically without visiting your home and without you, the occupier, having to report your own meter reading. This will reduce their costs and call centre traffic and enable better debt management.

6  How will the Smart Meters benefit the occupier or consumer?
Smart meters and accompanying in-home displays will help you keep track of the energy you use and enable you to use energy wisely.

7  How can a Smart Meter save the consumer money?
Tests have shown that if you can see the cost of the energy you use, you are more likely to manage your consumption in a more efficient and practical way.

8  What benefit is there for the Government?
The government benefits by helping to fulfil its obligations to reduce carbon emissions as well as helping reduce the number of imported fuels required.  This reduces our dependence on imported energy.

9  What is the timescale for the new meters?
It is targeted that you will have one in your home by 2020.  There is a foundation stage which is starting now and leading up to 2014.  Roll out across the country will take from 2014 to 2019.

10  Where can I find more information about Smart Meters?
We recommend that you look at the following websites:

Government Advice

Energy Saving Trust

1st April 2011