Could a smart meter reduce your utility bills?
The message that the Government is giving homeowners is that a smart meter is the way to go in order to save money on your gas, electricity and water usage. Millions have had smart meters installed, and millions more are set to follow.
More than one million households have smart energy meters installed, and under current Government plans, all homes will have them installed over the next four years. However, consumers face a £215 installation fee, which will be added to their already high utility bills. Householders are currently spending on average over £1,300 on their gas and electricity annually. Add to this £394 on water.
Running costs are another £11 a year and in return it is believed that households will save just £30 or £40 per month as a result, and then only if they are savvy about cutting energy usage. If they aren’t, then it may not be the good idea that they have been led to believe.
The Government is hoping to roll out a scheme across the country, and given that almost half of all UK households have water meters this is a huge undertaking.
The idea of a smart meter is to reduce household bills but according to AppliancesDirect.co.uk, one in three households aren’t seeing any financial benefits. In fact, according to personal finance website Money.co.uk, one in three actually saw their household utility bills rise with a smart meter.
Although larger properties with low usage will save money, small homes with high usage will find the opposite is true. A water meter counts every drop of water you use and adds this on to your monthly bill, but most users don’t tend to try and cut back on their usage be more energy conscious.
In fact, eight out of 10 homes with meters don’t use the eco-settings on their washing machines or dishwasher, making it more energy efficient as it uses less water. This is especially so in Scotland, where water bills are included in Council Tax rather than a separate bill as in England and Wales. Therefore there is no real incentive to save water.
Households could save a large amount of money in the long run by spending the money now and upgrading their appliances to more energy-efficient models, and there are also simple ways to cut energy bills, such as having quicker showers, not leaving the tap running when brushing teeth, only using a fully loaded dishwasher, only boiling the water needed rather than a full kettle, and using the fast or energy efficient on their washing machine.
For more information about smart meters and saving money on your utility bills, talk to Archway Plumbing today.