Smart Meters in London – What You Need to Know
Smart meters collect data about your electricity consumption on an hourly basis before uploading this data to your electricity provider. Approximately 20% of people’s bills are estimated, however smart meters monitor actual consumption each hour. Smart meters are great for monitoring your consumption in a heavily populated area like London, another reason to buy smart meters.
What’s in it For Me?
A smart meter takes over 8,760 meter readings each year, instead of the average 6-12 readings. Companies and employees also work with the data they receive to try and conserve energy. They break down data to create custom reports for their customers, breaking down usage by appliance and giving conservation tips based on usage patterns. A pilot study in America achieved a 4% reduction in electricity use compared to a control group over only 4 months with a small sample size. Imagine the results that could be achieved if everyone was given advice on conservation!
There are concerns that smart meters emit low frequency radio waves, which could be harmful to individuals with sensitivity to electromagnetic fields. However, government conducted research has found no evidence to support this claim.
There is no direct, up-front charge for having a smart meter installed. Instead, the costs are spread over the lifetime of the meter, which could be up to 25 years. With predicted savings from £20 to £50, smart meters could actually pay for themselves.
In the early days of smart meters, there were some complaints of high-pitched whining noises or ticking sounds. However, with more up-to-date technology, smart meters do not make any noise at all nowadays.
- Switching Suppliers
You can still switch gas or electricity suppliers if you have a smart meter. Your new supplier can only swap your meter if they replace it with a more modern and advanced one. But it is possible that your new supplier does not support smart meters yet.