The smart meter upgrade is a programme set out by the UK Government as a way of helping consumers gain more control over their energy use and spending. It also aims to help meet environmental targets and security of energy supply in the future and we have been one of the first households in the country to make that change.
British Gas is leading the way in upgrading customers to smart meters for free and helping them enjoy smart meter benefits as soon as possible. Watch the ‘what are smart meters” video here:
I changed our British Gas tariff last year and we have effectively been using a “pay as you go” service by submitting meter readers each month using their smartphone app. The Smart Meter means I no longer have to remember to do this.
Readings from your smart meters are automatically sent to British Gas, which means you don’t have to submit your meter readings – or wait for a meter reader to come around – and still receive an accurate bill. British Gas uses the consumption readings to provide you with a full array of clever insights into your consumption, including personalised energy efficiency advice. Read more on britishgas.co.uk/smart
What are the key benefits of smart meters?
The unit itself is touch screen and you can set yourselves an energy budget by entering your type of property, number of rooms and number of occupants. You can then opt for “Slightly Challenging”, “Challenging” or “Very Challenging”. The budget is then saved and will automatically reflect seasonal weather changes for summer and winter usage.
We have chosen “Challenging” and set our Monitor to alert us when we exceed our energy budget for that day. It gives us a gentle alarm and mostly goes off around 10pm in the evening. On a couple of occasions it has gone off around 6pm when we have used the dishwasher / tumble dryer / washing machine more than once.
We have had the Smart Meter since August and so far so good. It has made us and the kids more aware of the energy we are using. The TV now gets switched off if no-one is watching (Kian had a habit of having it on and playing xbox at the same time), lights are switched off when we are not in that room and phone chargers unplugged when not in use.
I am looking forward to seeing how we manage over the winter period.
They also have a partnership running with blogging network Mumsnet, in which they have built a microsite and upgraded the homes of 5 community members to smart meters to document their journey. You can read more about their journey here.