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The smart meter revolution is upon us

Posted by Michael Thorburn on 22nd February 2017

Has your latest winter energy bill sent a shiver down your spine? Do you sometimes feel that managing your energy bills can be an impossible task? You’re not alone, did you know that almost one third of the country find their energy bills too confusing? On top of that, most of us don’t really know how much energy we are using each day. Well, the smart meter revolution is well under way, and as Bob Dylan once said, “The times, they are a-changin’”.

Smart meters really live up to their name, changing the way we understand our energy supply. They also have a range of great benefits that can help you save money and give you more control over your energy use. With smart meters you can finally bring an end to the mystery of your energy bills.

The introduction of smart meters is part of a UK-wide initiative being rolled out before 2020. During this period around 53 million smart meters will be fitted in more than 30 million premises across Scotland, Wales and England. This process has already begun, with nearly 5 million smart meters installed and benefitting homes throughout the country.

Every home will eventually be offered a smart meter by their energy provider as part of a national upgrade of our energy network, however, you may not need to wait. Some energy suppliers are already ahead of the curve and are ready to fit the meters in certain areas around the country already. You can simply contact your supplier to find out if you can have one fitted early.

A smart meter means an end to those estimated bills that are so common place. By automatically sending accurate meter readings direct to your supplier, the smart meter ensures you get accurate bills. You can even select how often readings are sent, from monthly, to daily or half-hourly. This means never having to deal with estimated ones that can leave you out of pocket.

The meters also come with a display device for your home which is wirelessly connected to your meter through a dedicated network. This allows you to see exactly how much energy you are using in almost real time. What’s more, your usage is displayed in pounds and pence, so you can see exactly how much you’re spending.

By seeing how much energy we use in real time, it also allows us to be much more energy efficient. You can see how much electricity you are using by forgetting to switch off a light, or leaving appliances on when you are not using them. This means you can have a real impact on your energy efficiency, and your bills.

The introduction of smart meters is one of the biggest national infrastructure projects in our lifetimes and the technology will help enable the creation of a new smart energy grid. This grid will have a massive impact on how our energy supply is handled. Everything from managing the supply and demand, to tackling unexpected power outages will be improved through the smart grid. Another added benefit is that we will also waste less energy, resulting in a greener and more efficient system throughout Scotland, and the rest of the UK.

There is a website dedicated to the introduction of smart meters that is a great source of impartial information. The Smart Energy GB website also has a massive FAQ section that you can find here. This section is great for answering all of your smart meter related questions.

As well as this, Home Energy Scotland (HES) – a Scottish Government programme managed by Energy Savings trust – can provide free, expert and impartial advice on other ways you can be more energy efficient. Just give them a call on 0808 808 2282, or request a callback to see how they can help. HES also has Smart Meter Champions in each of their regional advice centres who are on hand to offer help and advice to anyone who wants to know more about smart meters.