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Smart Meter

We’ve recently joined forces again with Smart Energy GB, to help inform carers of the benefits of having a smart meter.

We will be running community engagement events throughout Scotland, in particular with over 65s, to highlight the benefits not only for households, but the wider, environmental benefits too.

What actually is a smart meter and how does it work?

Smart meters are the new generation of gas and electricity meters that are replacing the traditional meters in our homes. They measure how much gas and electricity you’re using, as well as what it’s costing you and display this on a handy in-home display.

The smart meter captures a digital meter reading and automatically sends the reading to your energy supplier at least once a month, so you will receive accurate, not estimated bills.

The In-Home Display unit

This comes with your smart meters and it shows you:

  • how much energy you’re using in near real time
  • how much energy was used in the last hour, week and month (and what it cost)
  • whether your electricity use is high, medium or low
  • updates in near real time for electricity and every half hour for gas, meaning your bills will be accurate rather than estimated

Smart Meter display

If you have a pre pay meter, the in-home display unit will show you:

  • how much credit you have left
  • how much emergency credit you have
  • your debt balance (if you have one)
  • if your credit’s getting low

These units will help you to stay more in control of your energy use and make simple changes in how and when you use energy, to help you save money, e.g. switching off unused lights.

Smart meters are having a positive impact on how people use energy, with nearly three quarters saying they’re doing more to save energy since getting one.*

*Sourced from Populus Smart energy outlook, March 2019, smartenergyGB.org

Personal benefits

  • No more manual meter readings, which can be difficult and stressful for more vulnerable customers.
  • If you are a prepay customer, you can 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, giving you the best tariffs.

Environmental benefits

By having a smart meter you will also do your bit for a greener, more environmentally friendly Scotland. Smart meters will play a key role in the creation of a new smart grid that will be able to supply more reliable, low-carbon forms of energy.

We all want to make big changes to help our planet. And sometimes to make big changes, we have to start small. Smart meters can’t solve climate change on their own but with the smarter, more energy efficient grid they help to create, they’re a start.

Is my data safe?

The data your smart meter captures about your energy usage is strongly protected by law. You have control over it, including how often your smart meter sends data to your energy supplier (monthly is minimum, daily or half-hourly are optional); whether to share data with other organisations, like price comparison websites; if your supplier can use your meter readings for sales and marketing purposes.

Mythbusting

From previous engagement with carers, we know there are some myths surrounding smart meters, ranging from not being able to switch supplier to posing a radiation risk. Some common concerns are addressed here.

Further Information

Further information on the benefits of smart meters, what they are and how they work, is available on the Smart Energy GB website.

How can I get a smart meter?

Everyone will be offered the opportunity to upgrade to a smart meter by their energy supplier. Smart meters will be provided and fitted by your energy supplier, along with a handheld in-home display, at no extra cost.

Alternatively, you can request a smart meter for your household or your loved one’s (if they live independently) by phoning 0300 131 7777 or by following this link: I want a smart meter.

Calls to this number from UK landlines and mobiles are charged at the standard rate (i.e. same rate as calls to 01 and 02 numbers), and may be included in your usual call allowance. Please check with your provider.

Getting help and support with your energy usage

77% of carers face higher utility bills, due to the nature of their caring roles.

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 their website.

Smart Meter

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