Way back in the autumn we had a British Gas Smart Meter fitted here at Thrifty Towers and it has been an interesting experience living with it as the cold months have drawn in. Just to recap, a smart meter is a new meter for your energy fitted in a few short hours and then you’re left with a small tablet like device which communicates with the meter. Through the tablet you’re able to watch your energy consumption, set budgets and keep track of what you’re spending.
We’ve found it incredibly interesting and satisfying to watch our energy consumption patterns and to see instantly how turning off a light can make a real difference or to notice exactly how much a 20 minute shower costs and drop down to 5 or 10 minutes to make a real saving. Making specific changes gives noticeable results and one of the biggest has to be boiling the kettle! The display device for the meter has a coloured dial which rapidly changes from green to red upon flicking the kettle switch.
We’ve noticed we use less energy by either boiling enough for only one cup rather than a full kettle or by boiling a full kettle once and keeping the hot water in a flask for the rest of the day.Throughout the past few months one of my favourite features has been the ability to set and adjust budgets and check what percentage of your weekly budget you’re hitting. Having that kind of accountability really gives us peace of mind when it comes to not only bills but doing our bit for a green globe!You can see in the photo below that the display really drills down how much you’re using, what you’re spending per day and how much of your budget you’re hitting. You can hop between gas and electricity or have the device display prices for both combined plus that handy little gadget can even give you tips too! You can move the device around and keep it anywhere you like and I guarantee when you have it fitted you’ll bring it all over the house with you turning switches on and off and watching the information change.
We will be moving house in a few months and I’m genuinely sad that the new house might not have a smart meter fitted already. Visibly watching our energy consumption and the reflection on our bills has put our minds at rest but also made us more determined not to waste energy whatsoever. We’ve always been leaning toward the eco-friendly lifestyle but this has definitely helped us realise we can do so much more in our own homes to save not only pound and pence but energy!
The next step when it comes to increasing your energy efficiency is a Smart Energy Report. The report provides personalised descriptions of your usage based on times of day, week or month and shares breakdowns of your energy expenditure using data from your smart meter. The report explains where you’re using the most energy and gives personalised tips. Plus the report will also gather comparisons to similar households, showing how much they spend and their usage. I don’t know about you but having a level playing field of understand what other people use and how they save money really spurs me on to do better or even gives me that odd thrill of ‘ooh I’m doing really well!”
The report is a great reminder to fill your washing machine instead of running a half load, put on a jumper and turn down your thermostat a degree or 2 and many other simple tricks which can help you cut back. I’m really looking forward to getting my report (they’re free, so don’t worry) and working out how I can save even more money and really claim control over my energy spending. Understanding your energy use and knowing how to tame it is quite powerful knowledge to have and gives you further control of your home. I’d liken having a Smart Meter to online banking from your phone – it’s easy, it’s convenient and you always have access to what you’re using and spending. Most of all, it’s smart.