Smart meters are arguably an essential upgrade to the energy system currently available in Great Britain. The way we measure and pay for gas and electricity arguably has not kept up with improvements in every other aspect of our lives. If, as a nation, we say “yes” to smart meters, as a nation we can build a more efficient and a smarter energy system besides the amount of electricity meters for sale speaks for itself.
Keeping an Eye on Costs
Our energy networks could run much more efficiently and cheaply, with smart meters helping to make the whole network of gas and electricity run more efficiently. Currently, costs and savings are only estimated figures, but based on projected figures we can expect to save up to £6 billion over the next twenty years with smart meters being fitted. Although it will cost up to £11 billion to equip the nation with smart meters, total benefits are expected to be over £17 billion. With basic energy prices fluctuating, the introduction of smart meters will help every individual to keep an eye on exactly how much energy they are using, down to the hour.
Currently, the energy grid does not react and respond to demand. Smart meters mean that in the future, the grid can work more flexibly. Suppliers will be able to offer different prices on gas and electricity at different times of the day, encouraging us to use gas and electricity when it is plentiful in supply and not when there is pressure on the grid. They can ensure that there is enough power to meet our demands for example when a football match is running, and when everyone takes a break at half-time to make a cup of tea!
Suppliers will also be able to collect data about what we use as a nation and when. This will ensure that there is always sufficient power, especially in times of high demand. This will add up to create a smarter, ‘greener’ more efficient system.
Very few of us have switched energy supplier – in fact only 40% of Great Britain have ever changed supplier! This is down to the fact that with the current system, it is very difficult to know if the deal we are being offered works out to be better for us or not. Smart maters will change this! They will make comparing suppliers as easy as comparing different prices at supermarkets. The process of switching suppliers is also expected to become quicker and easier, too!