Carers Scotland has teamed up with Smart Energy GB to help with the smart meter rollout across Scotland, to raise awareness of and promote the advantages of smart meters to carers. Smart Energy GB wants to help everyone in Great Britain understand smart meters and how to use them to get your gas and electricity under control.
What is a smart meter?
Smart meters are the new generation of gas and electricity meters which will replace the traditional meters in our homes. Every home in Scotland will be offered a smart meter by their energy supplier, free of charge, between now and 2020.
What are the advantages of getting a smart meter?
- Smart meters will help you stay more in control of your energy use and help you save money. You will be able to see with a free in-home display how much energy you’re using, as you use it, and what it is costing in pounds and pence.
- You will be better able to see what appliances are using the most energy and when, which will allow you to make changes that can save you money, e.g doing washings at different times of the day or switching off unused lights.
- For those of you who cannot easily make changes to your energy consumption due to the nature of your caring role, use your smart meter to track patterns in your energy usage to evidence how caring is impacting your fuel bills and use this to see if you are eligible for grants, subsidies or support.
- Your bills will be accurate rather than estimated and you will no longer need to have or provide manual meter readings, which can be difficult and stressful for more vulnerable customers.
- If you are a prepay customer, you will see how much credit you have left and if your credit is getting low. You will be able to top up online or via mobile phone at any time, as well as in person at a local shop.
- Smart meters will make switching between suppliers, or between credit and prepay, quicker and easier.
Further information on the benefits of smart meters, what they are and how they work, is available on the Smart Energy GB website.
Lynn, a carer for her husband, has a smart meter. Read her story here.
Geoff, a carer for his wife, got a smart meter last year. Read more here
How do i get one?
Energy suppliers are installing smart meters for their customers. Contact your energy supplier and the energy supplier of the person you are caring for if they live independently. Or click here and select your supplier from the list to find out their plans for installing smart meters and register your (and your loved one's) interest in getting one.
If your supplier is not on the list, Smart Energy GB are currently working to get details from them.
Getting help and support with your energy usage
77% of carers face higher utility bills. This could be because they need to keep the heating on to help the person they care for, or because they are frequently using electrical appliances and equipment, such as washing machines and electric wheelchairs. Smart meters will show you how and when you use energy, what it is costing and the impact on your fuel bills. You can use this data to see if you, or your loved one, qualify for grants, subsidies or support.
The Energy Savings Trust provides a range of information, tips and advice on energy-saving support (including smart meters) and help you may be entitled to if you are struggling with your fuel bills. Freephone 0808 808 2282 for free, expert advice or visit the Energy Savings Trust website.