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What are the challenges facing smart meters?
Theoretically, smart meters are supposed to help homeowners be more conscious of their energy usage. However, as with any government scheme, success isn’t guaranteed. Simply installing smart meters in UK properties, won’t necessarily spark a sudden change in behaviour, which leads to homeowners using less energy.
Along with the fact that the smart meter rollout was delayed, some people who have had them recently installed have encountered issues. These problems include the in-home display malfunctioning, the meter not working after switching supplier and even increased energy bills.
What are the benefits of having a smart meter?
The obvious argument for having smart meters is to reduce the rate at which carbon emissions are released into the atmosphere. However, on top of being a positive influence on the environment, smart meters are beneficial to homeowners for several other reasons. In fact, a home’s energy usage becomes much clearer. This distinct breakdown means homeowners can observe which appliances expend the most energy, allowing them to adjust their usage accordingly to achieve lower bills. With an increased focus on data, consumers are also likely to receive more accurate energy bills.
Green mortgages and smart meters
The idea behind green mortgages is to help improve a home’s energy efficiency rating. In return for making their home more energy-efficient, there’s the potential that homeowners can receive discounted mortgage rates. With a green mortgage, a property’s carbon footprint should reduce, while homeowners might also realise the benefit of cheaper energy bills.
In theory, smart meters could make green mortgages suitable for potential homeowners, because of the valuable data they collect. With this information, homeowners can make energy efficiency improvements to their homes. As a result of these measures, it’s likely a property will increase in value.
Smart meter rollout
The official smart meter rollout began in 2016. The UK government’s intention was to replace all old-fashioned, gas and electricity meters with modern, smart meters by 2020. This initial target required energy suppliers to install smart meters in every UK home and business. Due to the delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the smart meter rollout hasn’t been as successful as previously hoped. The initial deadline has been pushed back to December 2021, with the final deadline set for 2025, whereby suppliers must finish installing the meters in homes and businesses of all sizes.
At this moment in time, energy companies can only offer them to their customers, as having a smart meter in your home is not yet a legal requirement. However, beyond providing additional, convenient benefits for the consumer, smart meters have a much broader purpose. They’re part of a wider initiative, known as the smart grid. The intention is a nationwide transition from home domestic products that rely on fossil fuels, to sources of renewable energy.
Smart meter costs
As smart meters are part of a government scheme, they’re installed for free by energy suppliers. Similarly, to the old style, modern smart meters are paid for as a collective, through everyone’s energy bills.
As smart meters work with live data, you’ll receive accurate bills. There’s even the possibility that your energy bills will be cheaper than what they were previously, however, to ensure this happens, you’ll need to be proactive. Fortunately, smart meters come with digital, in-home display screens, helping you to keep track of your energy expenditure.
Homeowners are still able to get a FREE boiler grant or insulation grant via the ECO scheme, which is still available to households that qualify. Warma UK are currently working throughout the UK helping privately owned and rented homes to improve home energy efficiency and save money on rising energy bills.
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