Swansea MAD is a delivery partner of this year’s Smart Energy GB in Communities programme. We have put together information below to provide information on smart meters and support and resources available.
What is a Smart Meter?
A smart meter is a device that records how much electricity and/or gas your household is using. It is very similar to existing meters, but smart meters come with an in-home display (IHD) which allows customers to see how much energy they are using. This means that customers can keep track of their energy and understand how much various devices are costing them. Using the IHD you could find it easier to keep track of your energy usage and figure out possible ways to reduce any energy waste, for example turning your TV off rather than leaving it on standby mode. Getting a smart meter means you will get an accurate bill based on the energy being used, rather than an estimate, which could help you with your budget. Hopefully, this will also reduce the stress of receiving unexpected bills.
How to Get a Smart Meter?
If you want a smart meter, you need to contact your energy supplier so you can find out if you can have one and when they will be able to install it. Everyone in the UK should be entitled to a smart meter by the end of the rollout. Multiple factors can affect how quickly you can receive a meter, for example, energy supplier, address, current meter and type of residence.
How do Smart Meters Work?
Smart Meter Myths
Myth: Smart meters are connected to the internet
Fact: You don’t need an internet connection to have a smart meter as they are not connected to the internet, and neither is the in-home display.
Myth: Smart meters aren’t secure
Fact: Only you and your energy supplier can see your energy usage. Your energy supplier can only see how much energy you’re using and when you’re using it, so if you’re worried they can see how you’re using the energy, don’t worry, they can’t!
Myth: Smart meters aren’t safe
Fact: Every smart meter that is installed complies with UK and EU safety standards and will be fitted by someone who is qualified according to the Smart Metering Installation Code of Practice.
Myth: Having a smart meter means I can be cut off easier.
Fact: Having a smart meter gives you the same protection against being cut off as a normal meter. As a customer, you are protected by strict regulations against an energy supplier cutting off your gas or electricity.
Myth: I won’t be shown how to use it.
Fact: The person installing your smart meter should show you how to use it.
Myth: You can’t get a smart meter if you rent.
Fact: If you receive and pay for your gas and electricity bills, you can request a smart meter. If this is the case, you don’t need a landlord’s permission, but you should let them know. On the other hand, if your landlord pays the bills, you can request that they get one installed.
Myth: You can’t get a smart meter if you are a prepay customer
Fact: You can get a smart meter as a prepay customer and will be able to top up your meter online, on your mobile or in a shop.
Myth: Smart Meters aren’t accessible for old / disabled / visually impaired people.
Fact: Accessible in-home displays (AIHD) have large buttons or can read your data aloud. You will need to check with your energy supplier if you are eligible for the AIHD.
Myth: You need internet to have a smart meter.
Fact: A smart meter is able to send your data to the supplier securely, even if you don’t have an internet connection.
Myth: It will cost me more to have a smart meter.
Fact: There aren’t any additional costs if you get a smart meter installed.
Myth: It’s another appliance that’s going to cost me extra.
Fact: The energy that is needed for the in-home display is minimal and the information will help you stay in control of your overall usage.
Myth: If I get a smart meter, I won’t be able to switch suppliers.
Fact: Newer smart-meters now allow people to switch suppliers without interrupting their supply.
There are many more myths surrounding smart meters, so if you want to have a chat we can help provide you with more information.
How Swansea MAD Can Help
Swansea MAD is currently offering a range of sessions to provide support and guidance surrounding energy costs and smart meters. If you would like to speak about smart meters and where you can go to get one, we can arrange a one-to-one session to talk things through with you.
We are also offering employee training for organisations that would like to understand the impacts of the current energy costs and how smart meters could benefit the communities you work in.
Please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org
Smart Energy GB – https://www.smartenergygb.org/
Money Saving Expert – https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/
Sennedd Guide – Support with cost of living pressures – https://research.senedd.wales/media/043aeteo/support-with-cost-of-living-pressures-eng.pdf
NEA’s Warm and Safe Homes Advice Service – https://nea.org.uk/wash-advice / 0800 138 8218
The Money Advice Service – https://moneyadviceservice.org.uk / 0800 138 7777