Smart meters are replacing traditional electricity and gas meters. They are being fitted by energy suppliers in all 26 million homes in Scotland, England and Wales by 2020.
Smart meters communicate with a portable screen to show you how much energy is used - very close to real time - and how much money this costs.
Smart meters automatically send meter readings securely to energy suppliers, usually on a daily basis. This ensures that bills are accurate and brings to an end manual meter readings and the guesswork of estimated bills and statements.
If you are due to have a Smart Meter fitted, it may be worth checking with your supplier that having such a meter will not pose difficulties if you want to switch supplier.
Installation is free and straightforward and should take less than an hour. Just before installation, you are required to submit up to date meter readings, unplug all electrical appliances and switch off gas heating and appliances. After installation, you should reset clocks and trip switches.
The in-home display which comes with a smart meter gives you clear and comprehensive information on your household's energy use. This allows you to take informed decisions on reducing energy usage, saving money and reducing your carbon footprint.
For more information, you can refer to Smart Energy GB Smart Meters page.
If you are a prepayment customer, you will no longer need to access your meters to read them or insert a key or card. The in-home display will show the balance and you can top-up online, by phone or text message, using a smartphone app.
If you top up at a local shop, a signal is sent automatically to top up your Smart Meter.
In future, the 'smart grid' will offer cheaper tariffs at times of low demand. Technology will then allow domestic appliances interact with smart meters for example a dishwasher could be set to operate when electricity is cheapest, or a text message could be sent from your home if the heating is left on by mistake.
You can also phone your supplier to check their timetable for fitting Smart Meters in your area.
Home Energy Advice Team
Kilncraigs, Greenside Street, Alloa, FK10 1EB
Tel: 01259 450000