Smart meters: are they right for you and your home?

Date: 23/03/2023

With energy prices rising as high as 128%, it’s understandable that you might be looking for ways to bring your bills down.

With a lot of information around, it’s hard to know what’s fact and what’s fiction. Housing manager Laura Dalton (pictured below) shares helpful guidance on using smart meters at home.

“I’ve recently seen lots of tips about using smart meters”, said Laura.

“They can help to reduce costs by regularly reporting meter readings to your supplier. They’re also useful because they display your home’s usage so you can adjust your habits to reduce the risk of a surprise bill.”

“Over 40% of all homes and small businesses now have smart meters but it’s worth noting that although useful, they’re not always compatible.”

“If you’re on an economy seven tariff it means that you’re charged two different prices for your usage. The price differs depending on when you use it, for example during peak and off-peak times.

“It’s a useful way to save money if you’re not using your utilities during peak times and offers a discounted rate.

“If you have storage heaters in your home, you're likely already on an economy seven tariff and if not, we recommend you sign up.

“Smart meters show your real-time usage cost and units used. This is then sent on to your energy provider to prevent you from having to submit regular meter readings. 

“However, if you’re on an economy seven plan, your out-of-hours usage may not be recorded on your smart meter at the discount rate, and you could end up paying more.

“Before having a smart meter fitted, always check with your supplier that it’s compatible with the energy tariff you’re on.

“I’ve put together some useful tips below to prevent you from paying more if you’re on an economy seven plan.”

Laura's smart meter tips ⬇ 

  1. Check if you're on an economy seven tariff
    The easiest way to tell is by checking your bill. If you’re being charged two different prices for the electricity you use, then you’re on economy seven.

    The two rates might be labelled as low, normal, high or day and night. If you’re still not sure, then contact your energy supplier to check.

  2. Check your smart meter is compatible
    Your gas or electricity supplier may want you to fit a smart meter to make it easier to accurately track your usage. However, before you do make sure it’s compatible with your tariff.

    Your supplier should be able to tell you and if it’s possible it should be installed free of charge.

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