Do Smart Meters Save Money on Energy Bills?
We’re always going to need to pay energy bills – and they’re often some of the most expensive rates we pay as the year draws on. Thankfully, there are more than a few different ways for us to all cut down on the cost of heating, entertainment, and daily comforts.
For example, let’s consider the smart meter – a gadget that’s popped up all over the UK in the past decade. With more and more companies offering smart meters – with the idea that they could save us money – it’s only natural to wonder whether or not that is true.
But, what exactly are smart meters, how do they work, and will they actually save you money on your energy bills?
What Is a Smart Meter?
A smart meter works much like a standard energy meter in that it records the energy you’re using, presenting it in a way that’s easy for you to understand and manage. However, a smart meter goes one step further by sending readings directly to your suppliers.
They do so automatically to ensure that when the suppliers need to see the numbers, they are already available to them. You may never have to read your own meters again to communicate them to the companies in question. That could save a lot of headaches – and prevent nasty estimates from driving your bills higher and higher.
In some cases, smart meters have indeed proven to be a great way to save money on your energy bills – but they’re not guaranteed to keep you from escalating costs on their own.
How Can a Smart Meter Save You Money?
Smart meters show you exactly how much power you use at any given time. This way, you can see how much energy you have been consuming and can adjust the usage to fit your budget better. It’s pretty easy to check your consumption on most meters, though devices will vary from supplier to supplier.
This also means – thankfully – that you will only ever pay for what you use. Energy bills are more often than not charged based on estimations made by the suppliers. They usually consider how many people live in the household, where it is, and how big it is, and adjust their rates based on previous meter readings.
However, with more and more of us becoming energy conscious, standard estimated energy bills can cost us more than we are actually using. That is why it is vital to know how to use your smart meter to save you money – why should you spend more on what’s essentially an energy company’s guesswork?
How to Use Your Own Smart Meter to Save Money
To really rack up the savings from a smart meter, you will need to put a little work in. Here’s what to keep in mind:
Keep track of the energy you’re using –
Of course, the best way to use a smart meter is by regularly checking it. It will easily show you how much energy you have used over a specific period. This will enable you to see if there has been a high increase in energy usage, what you will need to do to prepare for the upcoming bill, or how to reduce your usage in the time to come.
Budget for upcoming bills –
Although energy bills are some of our most common demands, they can come as a bit of a shock, especially if you’re relying on estimates!
Having your own smart meter means no need to worry about made-up figures. By only ever paying for what energy you use, it also means that your bills should change throughout the year.
For example, in the summer months, when you will not have to use central heating as much, and your accounts should therefore be much more affordable. This will allow you time to prepare for the bigger bills that the winter should bring.
Look around for the best tariff for you –
Energy suppliers tend to offer different tariffs to suit their customers. However, knowing what tariff will save you money can be difficult without being an expert! As much as the suppliers in question aim to provide appropriate tariffs for all customers, there’s no way of getting it perfectly right without monitoring usage.
With a smart meter, you can better ascertain which periods you’re likely to use energy the most. Take this information and check out an energy switching service, or head directly to your supplier. You’ll then be able to change across, safe in the knowledge you’ll save money on a more efficient tariff.
Use your energy wisely –
Smart meters can be brilliant allies in helping you understand what it is that’s really sapping your energy on a daily basis. Is it your tumble dryer that’s racking up the kilowatt hours? Maybe leaving everything on standby is doing more harm than good.
Sadly, your smart meter can’t be relied upon to help you manage your usage – it is up to you to adopt a more energy-efficient lifestyle. This can mean running your washing machines at night rather than during the day (if the neighbours don’t mind), remembering to turn off the lights when they are not in use, unplugging your appliances and devices when they are not in use, running your heating a little lower, etc.
By adopting new habits, you will get the best use out of your smart meter. The best part of all this is that you can start seeing the difference you could make immediately. Keep an eye on your daily usage, and adjust your habits slightly each day – you’ll soon be able to drive down those costs.
Help With Energy Bills
Contact your supplier – they will have processes in place in order to help customers as best they can. This can range from different payment options and payment plans. But bear in mind that you’ll still need to pay for that energy, unfortunately, they won’t be writing off any debt, just helping out for the short-term.
If you’ve tried all of the above and a smart meter simply isn’t enough to help with bills, there’s also energy grants and benefits that you might be entitled to. Unfortunately, these energy assisting schemes aren’t available to everyone and it’ll depend on a particular set of criteria.
If you don’t qualify for any energy grants or benefits and need to pay off a bill, LoanBird could help you with a quick loan today.
A Conclusion to Smart Meters
Smart meters can save you money – but only if you’re smart, too, about how you use them! Simply having a smart meter installed is not enough to save you money on energy bills. Following the meter and checking your consumption regularly, it is up to you to adapt your usage to suit your budget.
Keep a close eye on what’s pushing up the pounds, and don’t be afraid to switch tariffs if you really need to. Simple!