The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy have released a quarterly smart meter report showing that over 10 million smart meters have been installed in domestic properties (with a further one million in smaller non-domestic installations).
With a looming deadline of 2020 set to get smart meters installed across the country, some media outlets are suggesting that this target will be missed despite growth on the number installed compared to the previous quarter. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) was quoted in Clean Energy News explaining that “Energy suppliers’ plans show they intend to double installations in 2018 as large suppliers scale up their operations to provide quick and informative installations of smart meters.
“Smart meters are a vital upgrade to our energy infrastructure, with 400,000 smart meters being installed every month, helping consumers save money and better understand their energy use, which is why the government is committed to energy suppliers offering them to every home and small business by the end of 2020.”
What are smart meters and how could they help me save energy?
Smart meters are digital screens connected to your gas and/or electricity that allow you to see your energy use in pounds and pence. They will also mean you no longer need to submit meter readings as this is done automatically through the smart meter, with the bonus that you won’t receive estimated bills any more. The aim is to help people to see what they are using, to reduce the risk of running up high bills and make people more conscious of the energy they are using.
Smart meter issues and controversy
There is however controversy surrounding the roll-out of smart meters. This includes customers struggling to get a smart meter installed due to large queues for the devices in their areas. There are also concerns about first generation smart meters, known as SMETS1, turning ‘dumb’ and not working correctly when a user switches energy company.
Despite the ups and downs the roll-out has seen so far, according to a survey from Smart Energy GB, around 82% of people with smart meters say they now have a better idea of what they are spending on energy. The same survey, a poll of almost 10,000 members of the public, revealed that three quarters of people with smart meters say they would recommend having one installed to their family and friends.
Another way to keep tighter control on your energy usage is to install a smart thermostat. Find out more about the top brands in our Smart Thermostats article.