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Friday, 10 February 2017 13:54

Are smart meters really as smart for our pockets as we are led to believe?

When it comes to energy and water suppliers, the buzz word of the moment is smart meters. This revolutionary technology is the way forward according to providers of these two necessities and more and more of us are in line to have it rolled out to us.

It sounds pretty straight forward doesn’t it? Smart meters measure exactly what power and water you are using and make life simple for both the provider and the homeowner. Many providers say that smart meters are actually saving people money because they are only paying for what they are using. Both you and the utility company will both have a copy of what has been used.

But is this actually the case? The utility companies say it is, but they’re not known for being the most open and honest when it comes to energy prices; other experts, however, are extremely sceptical  and say that people are barely feeling any kind of saving and in actual fact some were out of pocket.

Research last year showed that one in three households were worse off after having a meter fitted. It also pinpointed that large homes that generally have low water usage were finding that meters were beneficial to them. On the other side of the coin, though, smaller and average sized homes that have big families whereby water is used heavily were finding themselves out of pocket.

Smart meters for energy are also being pushed by the government and most people are expected to have them within the next three years. These too, according to the government and many utility companies, will save a lot of people money. Again, we’re sceptical. Heavy users of gas and electricity will more than likely be out of pocket and we’re particularly focussed on the fact that customers will have to find over £200 to install the meters and this will be on top of already high prices which keep creeping up and up. We can’t help but think it’s all one big money spinning exercise. All those £200s from every customer to have smart meters fitted. That’s a lot of money. It is also estimated that running costs for the smart meters will be £11 a year so the smart meters have got a lot of work to do to make any substantial saving for the consumer like the government is preaching about.

In our opinion, you shouldn’t trust the smart meters too much. If you really want to ensure that you are saving money wherever you can, you need to consistently be checking energy tariffs and different energy companies and making sure that you are paying as little for your energy as possible. We know everyone will always tell you this but it really is the only way that you can be in control of what you are paying out to a certain extent. Even if you have got the cheapest deal at the time, you should make it your business to check monthly as this is how quick it can all change. One minute you could be on the cheapest tariff and then a couple of months down the line you may be paying what is double the going rate.

You should also try to change some of your energy and water consumption habits. Limit bath water for instance and use dishwashers wisely.

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