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What Are Smart Meters?

What is a Smart Meter?

A smart meter is a device that automatically tracks your gas and electricity usage. There is an in-home display, which is usually portable, which allows you to monitor your energy usage and what it is costing you.

It also saves you taking regular meter readings as it transmits your readings to your supplier automatically.


No more meter readings

Accurate energy bills

Shows you how much energy you are using in real-time

Lets you know how you can change your usage habits to save money

Lets you know your carbon footprint which you could reduce by making energy savings

Some energy suppliers offer discounts and cheaper tariffs to homes with smart meters

Easier to switch suppliers


They can charge you at different rates at different times of the day depending on demand

A stranger will be in your home for some hours installing the device

Uses a mobile connection which means more radio frequency radiation in your home

Will only save you money if you monitor your energy use and cut back

Can lead to excessive monitoring which can cause family friction

Some people feel that smart meters are a further invasion of privacy

Smart meters are NOT compulsory at the moment, but may be so in the future

Are Smart Meters a wise choice for you?

You must weigh up the pros and cons of having one installed, but remember that it can only save you money if you use it to help you decide where to cut back on energy usage, especially now that price caps have been raised and are due to again in October.

Written by Michael Doherty of

2 thoughts on “What Are Smart Meters?”

  1. You mention that a disadvantage would be a stranger in the house fitting it, when that can also be said of ordinary meters being read on a frequent basis.
    It should also be pointed out that (as a MAJOR disadvantage) that it also gives energy (or billing) companies remote access to completely switch you off should you dare refuse to pay their extortionate fees. With a normal meter, they cannot do this… indeed cannot ‘legall’y enter your house. A smart meter is virtually inviting them into your home 24/7….

  2. Hi Fred,
    Thank you for your comment. As for your first point, I have only had one visit by my energy supplier in 6 years to check my meter readings, which I submit online every month.
    As to your second point, whether you have a smart meter or an ‘old fashioned’ analogue meter, your legal position is the same.
    ‘The simple answer is your supplier cannot simply switch you off without carrying out an assessment on your personal circumstances, whatever metering is used’.
    Of course this may change, but so may everything else, as we have seen in the last two years.
    Hang in there and don’t let the bastards grind you down.

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