More homes than ever have smart meters installed, but should you get one? Here, we’re looking at the main benefits of smart meters, as well as what else you can do to reduce your energy bills.
What is a smart meter?
A smart meter replaces your existing gas and electricity meters. Electricity smart meters are connected to the mains and record information about the consumption of energy in your home in real-time, while smart gas meters are dormant but turn on every half an hour to give a reading and communicate this to your electricity meter.
Smart meters communicate the information about your energy usage to you via an IHD (in-home display) and automatically send the data directly to the energy supplier via a wireless network so that you don’t have to do a manual meter reading.
What are the benefits of a smart meter?
One benefit of a smart meter is the accurate monitoring of your energy usage. With traditional gas and electric meters, if you don’t provide a manual reading to your supplier then you will have to pay an estimated bill, based on your previous usage, which is often more costly.
The reason many people find a smart meter worth getting is because it makes it easier for them to understand their energy consumption behaviour, particularly how much energy they are using and at what times. This gives you the information to change your habits and reduce the cost of your bills.
If you know certain activities are using energy unnecessarily, such as heating or lighting empty rooms, or if certain appliances are using too much power, then you can make changes to your behaviours or swap out appliances for energy-efficient alternatives.
It is also worth noting that there is no up-front, extra cost for smart meter installation.
How to further improve the energy efficiency of your home
Whether you decide that a smart meter is worth it or not for your home, there are other energy-efficient improvements you can make that will help to drive down the cost of your bills, and if you combine both, then you could see significant savings in the long run!
Install External Wall Insulation
External Wall Insulation is one of the best ways to lower your energy bills. This layered system insulates the exterior walls of your property and keeps the warmth generated by your heating system inside your home.
EWI alone can reduce your annual heating bills by up to 50%, so if you were to couple this with a smart meter and some more energy-efficient habits, you could be looking at significantly cheaper bills!
Improve loft insulation
As with your walls, making sure your roof is adequately insulated prevents the heat you generate from being lost, meaning you should pay less on your heating bills. Insulating your loft can also be a relatively cheap process, so it is worth looking into.
Switch to a heat pump
Old, energy-inefficient boilers use significantly more energy, whereas if you switch to a new, efficient boiler, you could increase your home’s EPC score by up to 40 points. Even better than this would be replacing your boiler with a heat pump that has lower running costs, a longer life span, and is more eco-friendly.
Swap out old appliances for energy-efficient ones
If you get a smart meter, you will be able to get a much clearer idea about which of your appliances are draining your energy budget, and you can replace them with better models.
Wet appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines use the most energy, followed by fridges and freezers, so it’s worth considering an upgrade. New appliances come with an energy label that tells you how energy-efficient they are, with A-rated appliances being the best.
Should you get a smart meter?
It’s always a good thing to be better informed about your energy usage and a smart meter does just that. While having a smart meter installed won’t reduce your energy bills on its own, it does provide an accurate reading and prevent you from paying more than you owe.
A smart meter also gives you the information you need about your energy usage so that you can make the most impactful changes to your habits, which will reduce your bills as a result.
If you are looking to have external wall insulation installed on your home to reduce your energy bills, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.