Smart meters and their counterpart in-home displays will allow
you to monitor your energy usage and cut out the need for an
employee of the energy company to visit your business and read your meter.
But what exactly does a smart meter do?
When can you get one?
Here are the answers to your questions about smart meters.
What are smart meters?
Smart meters are the newest evolution of devices that monitor your consumption of gas and electricity.
These meters collect, on a regular basis, data regarding your energy usage, and report it
automatically to the utility company.
Some of the many benefits of smart meters are:
- They eliminate the need for meter readings—your utility company will receive regular updates on your Building energy consumption automatically from the smart meter, without the need for anyone to visit your residence.
- You bills will be more accurate—whether gas or electricity, you will be billed according to what you use, not on an estimate.
- They allow you to keep track of your energy usage – your smart meter includes a display inside your Business,
which allows you to see your energy consumption, nearly in real time.
It is also possible to track your energy usage trends by comparing daily, weekly and other
The advent of smart meters offers other potential benefits for consumers. Smart meters may
help consumers save money by allowing them to schedule their energy usage for ‘off-peak’
time periods, hours of the day when demand for power is lower and consequently less expensive.
Smart meters may also allow customers to sell energy back to the energy providers—for customers
who generate energy via solar panels or windmills, for example. Smart meters will also make it easier
for energy suppliers to provide other information to consumers, such as tracking energy usage online
or through updates sent to mobile phones.
Why are smart meters in the news?
The British government has mandated that all homes in the United Kingdom will receive smart meters
by 2020. Close to 26 million homes will receive the benefits of smart meters over the next decade.
While many countries have begun to use smart meters, the UK is the first nation to widely use smart
How can a smart meter help save energy?
Customers using smart meters will be able to use a display to monitor their energy usage
more easily, so they can change habits and cut down on energy waste. When you are using a lot of
energy, you will able to see it right away, as well as how much it costs.
With a smart meter, it will also be easier for you to recognize ways that you could save power. Smart
meters with the accompanying display have seen trial usage in countries including Sweden and the
US. In these trials, smart meters have been shown to reduce household energy bills by 15% to 20%.
When will I get a smart meter?
Energy suppliers will begin the large-scale roll out of smart meters soon, likely by the middle of 2012.
It will take some time for all customers to be outfitted with smart meters, but the process will begin
shortly. Some energy suppliers may even honor customer requests to be receive smart meters sooner,
but others may choose to upgrade to smart meters one area at a time. British Gas is already installing
smart meters in its customers’ buildings, and other companies might begin installations before 2012.
Until you get your own smart meter, see how you can save energy around your Business.