Should I get a smart meter? How smart meters work

Find out how smart meters work, if they’ll save you money and whether you should make the swap!

7 August 2019

How smart meters work: A lightbub resting on a coloured graph of energy ratings
Sustainability

Key steps

  • Smart meters replace your current energy meters.
  • You can upgrade for free.
  • They automatically send readings to your supplier.
  • They allow you to track real-time spend.
  • Check with your supplier if you can upgrade a prepayment meter.
  • Check the eligibility of your home online.
  • Book an engineer appointment to upgrade.

Smart meters are advertised as tools that can help you to save energy and money, but how do they work? And how effective are they? This article answers some frequently asked questions to explain how smart meters work and how they can help you save energy.

Make sure you contact your energy supplier to find out if you are eligible for a smart meter upgrade and get them installed to help you save money.

How does an electric meter work? FAQs about smart meters answered

If you’re wondering, “should I get a smart meter?” we’ve got you covered with some frequently asked questions about smart meters to help you make an informed decision.

1. What is a smart meter?

Smart meters are a new type of energy meter, which can be installed to replace your old electricity and gas meters. They are offered as a free upgrade, as part of a nationwide rollout by all energy suppliers, until the end of 2020.

2. How do smart meters work?

If you’re eligible to have a smart kit installed, there are two parts which work as follows:

  • Smart meters: These replace existing meters and send automatic readings to your supplier.
  • Smart Energy Tracker: This is a small device which when plugged in connects to your meters to show you your usage.

3. Do smart meters save money?

Smart meters give you real-time, up-to-date usage information to show you what your energy consumption is. As well as tracking the usage in units, smart meters help you track the usage in pounds and pence. This means you can see how much you are spending and make small changes to reduce your spend. Check out our energy-saving tips here.

4. Do I still have to provide meter readings?

One of the best things about having a smart meter installed is that you no longer need to send off meter readings. They are automatically sent to your supplier, which means your bills will be accurate and up-to-date.

5. I have a prepayment meter; can I still upgrade?

Smart, pay-as-you-go meters are available, but not all suppliers are able to offer this yet. It is best to check with your supplier to see if you will be able to make the upgrade.

6. How can I get a smart meter upgrade?

Most suppliers will allow you to check whether you are eligible for an upgrade on your online account. Once you know you can upgrade, you can book an appointment to have an engineer come out to install your new smart meters.

So, whether you’re wondering “how do smart meters save money?” or how to get a smart meter installed, you should now have all the answers you need right here!