Smart gas and electricity meters are available to all energy bill payers and are free until 2020. These will mean the end of estimated bills and manual meter readings. Instead smart meters send automatic readings to your energy supplier. You will also receive a digital in-home display which will show you exactly how much energy you’re using as you go along, and what it’s costing you in pounds and pence.
All energy suppliers will offer their customers a smart meter by 2020, so every household in Great Britain will be able to benefit from the new technology. Smart meters will be fitted by energy suppliers for free..
If you have a prepayment meter you’ll be able to see how much credit you have left on your in-home display and top up at any time of the day or night, by phone or online. You can still also top up in your local shop and any credit, wherever you pay, will be automatically added to your account, so you won’t need to worry about putting a key or card back into a meter.
Smart meters are also paving the way for a smarter, greener and more energy-efficient Great Britain. They are a crucial step to the development of smarter energy grids, meaning a better ability to match our power requirements as a nation. Smart meters will enable the introduction of tariffs designed to suit different lifestyles, so there will be the flexibility to do washing or charge devices when power is cheapest, if you choose to.
If you want a smart meter all you have to do is contact your energy supplier. Installations take about two hours. While they are there, your smart meter installer will show you how to use your smart meter and the smart meter display. They will also be able to give you some energy saving advice and will carry out safety checks.
If you rent your home and you pay the gas and/or electricity bills you don't need your landlord's permission to get a smart meter. If your landlord pays the bills, you should check with them first before arranging your smart meter installation.
For more information visit the Smart Energy GB website and for impartial advice on smart meters, energy saving, renewable energy, sustainable transport, waste prevention and more visit the Home Energy Scotland website.