How Smart Meters work - Switch Squid

Written by Catherine Hiley, Senior Content Editor - Telecoms
20 Jun

Smart Meters: What Are They and How Do They Work?


Smart meters are the next-generation of gas and electricity meters. These smart devices automatically send your meter readings directly to your energy supplier, making life much simpler as well as helping ensure more accurate bills and tracking usage is simpler than ever before.

Smart meters also feature an in-home display (IHD), which shows how much energy you are using in real time and helps identify areas for energy savings, such as turning off lights when leaving rooms or unplugging appliances that are no longer in use. This information can also help identify ways you could reduce consumption such as turning off lights when leaving rooms and unplugging appliances when not needed.

Smart meters are powered by batteries which last up to 20 years and communicate with your energy supplier through a secure wireless network.

How Do Smart Meters Work?

Smart meters work by continually monitoring how much gas and electricity you are using at regular intervals, then sending that information directly to your energy supplier so they can use it to calculate your bills.

Smart meters feature an interactive home display (IHD), which shows real-time information on how much electricity is being consumed daily, weekly, or monthly.

Benefits of Smart Meters

There are numerous advantages associated with installing a smart meter, including:

Smart meters eliminate manual meter readings, leading to more accurate bills.
Increased Energy Efficiency: The IHD can assist in identifying areas where energy savings may be possible, such as turning off lights when leaving a room or unplugging appliances when not needed.
Smart meters can help to reduce carbon emissions by helping you to decrease energy usage, which in turn will lower carbon emissions. They can also provide real-time information regarding electricity usage to strengthen grid security. While smart meters offer many advantages, there may also be drawbacks associated with using them.
Smart meters may present certain drawbacks, including:

Privacy Concerns: Some may worry that smart meters pose privacy threats; however, the information gathered from smart meters is encrypted and secure. Cost Concerns: Installing smart meters may be costly; however, subsidies from government may help offset some of those costs.
Technical Issues: There have been reports of technical problems associated with smart meters, including inaccurate readings. However, these instances appear to be relatively rare.
Overall, smart meters outweigh their drawbacks. Smart meters can help save energy, decrease carbon emissions and provide more accurate bills; so if eligible, I recommend getting one installed as soon as possible.

How to Aquire a Smart Meter

To acquire a smart meter, contact your energy supplier who will determine if and when one will be installed for you.

The government is offering subsidies to help offset the costs of installing smart meters, and you can learn more by visiting their website.

Smart meters are an emerging technology with the potential to save you money on energy costs while helping lower carbon emissions. If eligible, I recommend installing one as soon as possible.

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