The company behind the smart meter rollout in the UK, Smart Energy GB, has published its latest Smart Energy Outlook report, showing that a large majority of customers with smart meters would recommend them to others.
Smart meters track the household’s energy usage in real time, sending accurate data to the energy supplier ensuring that all bills are completely correct and never based on estimates. They also allow customers to monitor their energy usage and expenditure, and therefore to adjust it accordingly.
The current plan from Smart Energy GB and the government is to have all UK households offered free smart meter installation by 2020. And this latest report suggests that the rollout will be welcomed.
According to the Smart Energy Outlook report, 80% of customers with smart meters have “taken at least one step to reduce energy use”, and 84% said that thanks to the smart meter, they now “have a better idea of their energy costs”.
Further, “the longer people have [a smart meter], the more positive they feel about its impact on their energy use and buying”.
Broken down, this was and cup of 56% who said that they’d reduced heating usage as a result of what they saw on their smart meter, 57% turned off lights more often and 45% said that they generally “monitored energy usage more closely”.
The report also focused on the use of a handheld “in-home display (IHD)” along with the smart meter. The IHD digitally displays a breakdown of a customers energy usage, and almost 70% of customers using smart meters and IHDs reported that they now feel “more in control of their energy use”. 78% of those with IHDs said that they check them regularly.
Overall, 79% of customers with smart meters said that they would recommend them to others, with 50% saying they are “very likely” to do so. Only 4% of customers said that they were unlikely to recommend them, while the remaining 17% were undecided.
Broken down into demographics, the report showed that 86% of lower income households with smart meters would recommend them, 84% of those with children and 83% of 18-54 year olds.
Those with smart meters were more likely to report that their energy bills were accurate – 83% compared to 65% without smart meters. The number of people who said that they fully understood their bill was also higher than among customers with conventional meters, as was the number who now said that they trusted their energy supplier.
These survey results will be welcomed by campaigners promoting smart meters as they show demonstrably the benefits that they confer on users. Undoubtedly having more knowledge about our energy usage and being able to adjust it accordingly is a positive thing, whether it’s done to save money or the planet. And smart meters are now being shown to be able to do just that.