What are smart METERS?
Smart meters are the next generation of digital electricity, gas, water and heat meters based on more modern technology. They replace your old analogue meters and are equipped with a range of useful extra functions that can benefit you. The ‘smartness’ of the meter refers to how it can communicate with your grid operator or energy supplier and yourself through devices such as your PC, laptop, tablet or smart phone. This helps put you in control!
Why are smart meters installed?
1. To empower you, as a consumer to monitor and manage your energy use
2. To make our electricity system future-ready.
What do they mean for me?
Your smart meter can offer you many benefits. Here are four key ways they can help you, the consumer:
1. NO FUSS, ACCURATE, METER READING
Your totalled consumption data for billing are automatically sent to your energy supplier. Your bill will be based on your actual energy use and not an estimate. Note that these meter readings do not reveal your detailed consumption behaviour!
2. BETTER MONITORING OF ENERGY USER
Regular and detailed consumption information on your PC, laptop, smart phone or a separate display in your house gives you a much clearer picture of your daily energy use, helping you to see what you consume and when. Your energy supplier may even send you suggestions on how to save more. This is dependent on which tools and services are made available to you in your area, and on you giving approval for your data to be used for this purpose.
3. GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR OWN ENERGY RESOURCES
If you make use of solar panels or wind turbines, and have a smart meter, it will automatically and separately register how much energy you have consumed and generated. In some countries, you will be able to feed your electricity back into the grid when electricity supply is low. Too much electricity in the system is also a problem. At these times it might be better to use your own renewable energy. The smart meter can help you make those decisions.
4. PAY LESS AT DIFFERENT TIMES OF THE DAY
Most analogue meters can only offer you two different prices or ‘tariffs’ for your energy: day and night. Your smart meter allows you to make use of multiple (even up to 24) tariffs per day, depending on what is offered in your area by your grid operator or energy supplier. In the near future you will be able to use ‘smart appliances’ like washing machines or tumble dryers that can automatically read the tariff from your smart meter and decide the best moment to switch on!