The smart meter is the “next generation of electric and gas meters.” While it may be new to Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Italy and the United States have been perfecting the technology for some time. Learning from their mistakes has been a real advantage and shortened the learning curve here. In fact, the government is so sure that this is a crucial step in national energy savings, that it is currently projecting replacing 46 million traditional metering devices in 25 million UK homes with smart meters by 2020.
For homeowners, this new technology means the end of estimated billing and unpleasant surprises at the end of the month. Instead, metering will be accurate and readily available for personal monitoring. You will be able to view your energy usage and costs in real time online. There will be no more awkward, unexpected visits by the meter man. All communication and two-way access will be conducted via mobile connection.
One advantage of being able to self-monitor your energy usage lies in activities and times of day that are costing excessive amounts. Simply choosing to run the dishwasher, washing machine, or tumbler drier at off-peak hours can result in significant savings. Monitoring your appliance energy consumption might also mean choosing to replace inefficient models for the newer Energy Saving Recommended products now available on the market.
As a family, self-monitoring can become a challenging but rewarding activity. You will be saving money that can be spent on more discretionary items while doing your part to protect the environment through making simple, small changes in your lifestyle. Everyone can become active in turning off lights, unplugging electronics when not in use, using only what energy is really needed, and watching your meter readings drop as your savings increase.
For those who are interested in creating their own energy through wind turbines and solar panels, smart-metering technology will allow homeowners to sell back their excess electricity. The accurate and up-to-date readings of these meters will allow such exchanges to take place without difficulty. You may not have access to panels or turbines, but if you are concerned about saving money and reducing carbon emissions, smart meter technology will be a welcome improvement.
So, do you have access to smart meters in your area? Would you install one if you could? Please share.