You’ll have heard a lot in the media about Smart Meters, but what does it actually mean?
Smart meters are meters that can be read and updated remotely by the energy supplier. For the customer this means an end to estimated bills. Customers receive an Energy Monitor, sometimes called an In-Home Display, (IHD) which shows their energy use in real time and can be used to help reduce the amount of energy they use. It all started with the SMETS1 meters but as of September 2018 we have seen the roll out of the SMETS2 meters, the upgraded version allowing cross-compatibility with all energy suppliers so no new meter installations for consumers giving them one less thing to worry about.
Smart meters are voluntary for customers, who can choose how frequently their meters are read, half-hourly, daily or monthly. A smart meter can operate as either a credit or a Pay As You Go meter and can be switched between these modes without the need for a meter exchange.
For Suppliers, Smart meters also mean that bills will be accurate so debt levels for disputed balances should be lower. It also opens the door to innovative time of use tariffs that can be used to attract new customers. The alerts that the Smart meters send are used by network operators to identify issues with supply and can be used by suppliers to identify vulnerable customers who are off supply. There are also tamper alerts to help suppliers identify energy theft.
More and more consumers are conscious of the energy they use and where it comes from, smart meters will allow for data to become the centre of this consciousness and innovation will thrive as homes become smarter and smart becomes the new standard.
Whilst for suppliers it brings many benefits, it also brings a host of requirements and regulations. Here at ENSEK, we’re helping our customers understand what these are and enable them to meet them because we believe smart is the future, just like we are.
This blog post was written by the wonderful Clare Gilby, Smart Project Manager here at ENSEK, many thanks to Clare for her contribution to the ENSEK advent calendar and we may see Clare's work again soon!