Under the EU legislation, UK is set to switch millions of consumers from traditional meters to smart meters before 2020. While the move fits in with the EU’s goal for creating a greener economy, it doesn’t necessarily sit well with every consumer. Yet, here is a look at some basic pros and cons for using energy monitors:
1. More accurate bills.
Many suppliers rely on estimated bills that can actually cause consumers to regularly overpay (or even underpay). Fortunately, by installing a smart energy monitor in your home, your supplier will receive an accurate reading of your energy consumption for future bills.
2. You can potentially make money.
If you generate your own energy using solar or wind technology, it’s possible that you can take advantage of tariffs. For example, a Generation Tariff will give you a set amount of money for generating (and even using) energy while an Export Tariff will give you with a set amount of money for selling any unused electricity units back to the grid. However, the amount of money that you will receive depends on a number of factors such as the kind of technology you use and how much energy will be generated.
3. You will have better oversight of your energy use.
While it’s possible to save money using smart meters, installing one in your household will not automatically slash bills. However, by monitoring your energy use in real time using in-home display units, you will be able to see where you spend the most energy and how you can make your household more energy efficient. For example, you can easily identify how much energy certain appliances use and avoid using them during peak hours.
4. You can change from a prepayment meter to a credit meter.
Another benefit for using smart energy monitors is that you can switch between prepayment and credit meters without actually changing your meter. If you have a smart meter in prepayment mode, it’s typically easier to top up your meter. Suppliers often offer customers the option to top up over the phone, through mobile apps, online, and by cash.
5. You don’t have to worry about anyone coming to your house to read your meter.
Waiting around for someone to visit and read your meter can be an inconvenient, even stressful, experience. Fortunately, with smart energy monitors, the information that suppliers need is sent directly to them through the device and network.
6. It should be easier to identify technical issues with energy supplies.
If you use a smart meter, it is said that any technical problems can be identified and resolved more quickly than with traditional meters. By quickly resolving issues, you should experience less inconvenience due to interrupted power supplies. To find out more about how energy monitors work click here.
1. Consumers may actually experience increased bills.
While it’s possible for you to save money through responsible energy consumption habits, consumers still may see increased electricity bills. Unfortunately, the necessary expenses required for the nationwide rollout of smart meters may show up on consumer bills. With green levies or taxes already making up anywhere from 10% to 50% of bills, any additional costs can be difficult for some consumers to manage.
2. There are still security issues to work out.
Many watchdogs are concerned that the nationwide use of smart meters can potentially put consumers (and even the entire nation) at risk. For example, with smart meters being attached to the smart grid via wireless networks, watchdogs are afraid that consumers’ privacy may be at risk.
There are also concerns that working from a smart grid can put UK in a vulnerable position for potential terrorist attacks. For instance, an attacker can tap into millions of smart energy monitors to cause nationwide blackouts. Unfortunately, the blackouts can even lead to deaths if the electricity is out for prolonged periods of time. However, the government is working closely with the National Technical Authority to help ensure that smart meters will be safe for home and business use.
With so many organisations urging people to switch to smart meters, it can be an overwhelming ordeal for some people. However, by learning more about the pros and cons of smart meters, you can make a more informed decision about your energy use.
- Consumers greet smart meters with open arms, survey says(energylivenews.com)
- More than 1 million smart meters installed in NZ(radionz.co.nz)