With more than 3.5 million devices now fitted in homes across the UK, Britain’s smart meter rollout is well underway.
By 2020 all UK households will have been offered a smart meter by their energy supplier.
Unprecedented in its scale, the rollout is an essential technology upgrade to the UK’s energy infrastructure that will give consumers greater control over their energy consumption by providing them with accurate bills and showing them exactly how much they’re spending in near real time. Furthermore, smart meters provide accurate meter readings directly to suppliers, ensuring that customers only ever pay for what they use.
Smart Energy GB, the national campaign for the smart meter rollout works with Populus to carry out Smart Energy Outlook; the largest piece of insight into peoples’ attitudes towards energy and smart meters.
Smart meter satisfaction consistently high
As the number of installations increases, those who already have a smart meter are reaping the benefits of this new technology. In fact, eight out of ten (79%) of people with a smart meter would recommend one. People with low incomes are the most likely (86%) to recommend a smart meter, followed closely by people with young children. This suggests that smart meters are already having a positive impact by helping people to keep track of their spending.
Helping the consumer stay in control
A separate piece of Populus research, which looked at consumer behaviour in the energy sector, found that there is widespread disengagement. In fact, we would class two-thirds (67%) of energy customers as “Inert”. They don’t shop around for the best energy price and just over a quarter of them don’t even know how much they are paying each month for their gas and electricity. In all likelihood they are paying far more than they need to.
The smart meter roll out looks set to change this.
The latest research for Smart Energy GB reveals that 69% of people with smart meters feel more in control of their energy use. A substantial 84% of smart meter users also say that the new technology has given them a better idea of what they’re spending on energy.
Knowledge is power
The information provided by smart meters is giving those that use them more control over buying and using energy. Without it, customers may not have the best deal or could be paying more than they need to.
The findings show that people with smart meters on the other hand have a better understanding of their bills, which they believe to be accurate. This knowledge empowers them to shop around for the right supplier and the best tariff for them.
Doing their bit for the environment
The future of the energy sector
Our findings indicate that smart meters are already beginning to have a big impact on the energy sector. Certainly, the attitudes uncovered by the survey are an encouraging sign. By the end of the rollout, we might see a more open, transparent market in which consumers feel empowered to make more decisions over their energy supply.