It is estimated by the company that has been contracted to supply the 1st million of these dual fuel smart meters that the technolgy could help customers save a total of £200m on energy bills over the next decade. That's a huge saving in total energy use which is excellent news. The benefit to individual households will be less significant (£20 per year doing some simple maths on the headline £200m figure above) however, the fact that smart metering will help customers more easily monitor and control their own energy use has got to be great step in the right direction.
How Smart Meters Work
British Gas' smart meters will monitor energy consumption and show consumers real-time usage figures on what British Gas is describing as an ‘innovative touch screen in-home display’. This is intended to make consumers more aware of the way they use energy and encourage them to turn off appliances that are not in use, or that use a lot of electricity.
Smart meters will also send usage information directly to British Gas over a wireless network, enabling the energy supplier to calculate accurate energy bills.
Monitor your energy use NOW
If you want to get to grips with your energy use straight away, take a look at our energy monitor comparison or browse our selection of energy monitors . We supply a full range of energy monitors including plug-in energy monitor , Owl , Efergy , Current Cost (coming soon!) and Wattson .
Government plans for smart meters
The government wants every home to have a smart meter by 2020 and, as I understand it, is expecting the cost of achieving this (expected to be in the region £8.6 billion... yes billion) to be met largely by consumers. Oh good, I hear you cry! The fact that British Gas is rolling out smart meters ahead of this date is encouraging but clearly there must be benefit to them otherwise why would they bother? I don't know about you, but alarm bells are ringing somewhere in my head! In my view, Government must take care that consumer's interests and are being served and global emissions reduced by the introduction of smart meters and that the it's not just another way for the energy companies to line their pockets!
In the mean time let's give British Gas the benefit of the doubt. They will begin installing smart meters in selected households during 2010, and from 2011 British Gas customers will be able to request a smart meter if they want one. So keep your eyes and ears open.
Lower your energy bills
Monitoring your energy is not enough on it's own to reduce your energy use. You need to take positive action if you want to reduce your energy consumption. If you want to do your bit, we have lots of energy saving products and helpful energy saving tips that can make it easy! Take a look at our guide to cutting your energy bills and also some of the energy saving gadgets that help to make saving energy simple.