Just how smart are Smart Meters?

By | October 18, 2013

During the summer we signed up to take part in a challenge set by British Gas. The idea was that we’d change over to smart meters, with the aim of seeing just where our energy usage is primarily and (the biggest benefit) of more accurate billing.

Which, considering the recent price increases announcement is very welcome.

We have both our gas and electric supplied by British Gas and both meters were changed over within 2 hours in August.

The interactive bit – which sends our usage information to British Gas – looks like this:

Just how smart are Smart Meters?

We’ve been monitoring how turning on and using different household applicances effects the output and, as expected, it’s the items that produce heat that use the most energy.

I asked the family what they thought used the most energy and they came up with:

– boiler

– washing machine

– toaster

– kettle

– gadgets

The gadgets that we’ve found use the most energy are the ones that produce fairly instant heat, eg kettle, toaster, iron.

The item that used less than I expected was the tumble drier, I still much prefer the washing line drying though.

From peeking at the display when we first get in, it’s obvious that we’ll never be on a zero output, the fridge and freezer are always plugged in, similarly the bedside clocks etc, but it has made us more conscious of the items that are usually left on standby and plugs that can be turned off when not in use eg. chargers.

The device also gives us an indication of our greenhouse gas emissions, they do not rise as I envisaged when Hubbie has had a curry (!).

Just how smart are Smart Meters?
Just how smart are Smart Meters?
Just how smart are Smart Meters?

The biggest benefit for us will be the end of estimated bills and the smart meters are certainly making us think about where the energy is being used. In the light of recent price increases, this can only be a benefit.

We were asked by Mumsnet to participate in this challenge, with more to come and this post is being included in the thread at:

I am a member
of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network, a group of parent bloggers picked by Mumsnet to review
products, services, events and brands. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I
have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.

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