Finances & Money

Smart Meters: An Energy Saving Invention or Just a Waste of Money?

Introduced in 2009, energy smart meters were initially advertised to customers as a cost saving device. The goal was to allow you to give more accurate readings, ensuring you only pay for the energy used.

Unfortunately, many customers have discovered these smart meters aren’t as cost effective as they were led to believe. Here, we’ll look at whether smart meters are an energy saving invention or a total waste of money.

Will a meter save you money?

Over 7 million smart meters have been installed throughout the UK. However, they haven’t proven as popular as energy giants would hope. This is because although they claim to save you money, in many cases customers have ended up paying double the amount they would with a standard manual utility meter.

Bills can still end up being estimated and errors can still occur. Most energy providers try to convince you to pay annually, which means the bill is going to be estimated in advance. The meters can also suffer faults where the wrong information is supplied to the energy companies, resulting in much larger bills.

Other factors to consider

As well as reducing costs, smart meters are supposed to help you to save energy to. However, there’s actually little evidence to show that they do cut down energy use. This means, they may not be as energy efficient as you might think.

Having a smart meter installed also makes it much more difficult to switch suppliers later on. This is definitely something to consider as you could end up stuck with a higher cost supplier.

What alternatives are out there?

Smart meters aren’t the only way to potentially save money on your utility bills; especially if you’re a business.

One option you might want to consider is utility management. Companies such as Utility Wise, offer businesses a great comparison service, aimed at saving them the most money on their energy bills. They don’t just find the cheapest rates, they can also help you with utility management, providing numerous energy saving services.

Overall, smart meters haven’t proven to be as cost or energy effective as they first claimed to be. Therefore, it’s advisable to do as much research as possible before thinking of having one installed. However, there are alternatives out there which can help cut your utility bills and reduce the amount of energy your business is consuming.

 

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Susan Paige

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