You do know the benefits of smartmeters, don’t you?

Smartmeters give you and your electricity provider access to uptodate information about your electricity consumption. Therefore:

  • People don’t have to go to the trouble of reading your meter monthly or whatever
  • You can see if an appliance is using more electricity than you thought
  • If you accidentally leave something switched on, you’re more likely to notice.
  • You can take action promptly to reduce waste
What risks come with smartmeters?
  • Some people claim the installers were inexperienced and/or incompetent, causing an electrical fire. Others claim there was a risk but no fire occurred.
  • Some of these gadgets have not worked properly and generated excessive bills
  • Others have not worked at all
Surely not all smartmeters are that bad?

No. The bad cases are probably a tiny percentage that gets the most publicity. Anyway, let’s hope the installers have learnt from their mistakes, as we all should. The risks were probably always small and should be declining.

Is now a good time for getting smartmeters?

Not necessarily. There are three things to bear in mind.

  1. Firstly, you don’t get the benefits automatically. You have to look at the smartmeters and act on what you see. It’s all too easy to assume that you’re using energy efficiently just because you have had one installed.
  2. Secondly, the benefit depends on how inefficiently you were using electricity in the first place. If all your appliances are efficient, and if you are diligent about turning things off or down, when not needed, there is not much a smartmeter can do for you.
  3. Thirdly, the potential savings are bigger if you are using a lot of electricity. If you live in a small house, if you are not in very much, if you don’t have many electrical appliances, then there won’t be much scope for savings in any case.
So am I for or against smartmeters?

It depends on your situation. For many people, installing a smartmeter could be a great idea. For others, a waste of time. Sadly, for a few, it could be a really bad move.

Like anything else, you need to weigh the potential benefits with the costs and the risks. Perhaps you need to talk to someone about this or some other risk affecting you or your business. You know how to contact me.

If you want to save money on electricity, gas, phones or broadband, ask me or go to www.utilitywarehouse.org.uk/johnhmurray