Are smart meters all hype?
Everyone seems to be getting a smart meter these days, and we've all heard from the companies that install them how they will change life for the better. Companies like E.ON Next. But what do our customers think of their smart meters?
We searched our Community forum and interviewed real customers to find out exactly what they had to say.
"I wanted to see my usage so that we can control our spending."
There are many reasons to install a smart meter, but the most attractive one has to be that it puts you in control of your spending.
Many of E.ON Next's customers say this is an important reason for getting a smart meter - if not the most important one.
Here's what some of our customers had to say…
"We have definitely saved some money since using the smart meter."
"We can see what we are using instantly and track our daily spend on gas and electricity."
"We were able to closely monitor our real-time usage and cut back a lot on our energy consumption."
"No real difference until… the energy prices shot up."
It's no surprise that people are concerned about their spending in this cost-of-living crisis, but it's good to know that a smart meter can help you with that.
A smart meter is about more than cutting back on your bills.
But being in control isn't just about smaller bills.
Several E.ON Next customers told us how it made them more conscious of their electricity consumption and led to some actually changing their habits for the better.
One customer noted, "It made us much more aware and mindful" of their energy usage.
Another told us how their smart meter had changed how they use their electricity: "...we cook more during the daytime than the evening, making the best use of the power we are generating…" from their solar panels.
And speaking of solar panels, one customer posted how a smart meter helped them to use less energy at high usage times, "...which saved us money and made us money".
A smart meter helps you plan ahead.
Then there's knowing exactly how big your next bill will be.
That shock of an unexpectedly large bill after a few estimates. We've all been there. You think you've budgeted properly, and then all your plans go out of the window as you try to work out how on earth you will pay "the big one".
Unfortunately, larger utility bills are a fact of life at the moment. Any help with budgeting is welcome.
Smart meters show you exactly how much electricity you are using. One customer was pleased that their smart meter meant they got "more accurate billing and prevented nasty surprises if the estimated bills have been too low."
So if you do have a larger bill coming - say during the winter months - then at least you know it's on its way.
And you can take the steps you need to deal with it.
We are always happy to help customers struggling to pay their bills, from finding financial assistance to working out what's affordable for you.
There are other ways a smart meter can help you.
Other features that many customers find helpful include:
Seeing how much energy an individual appliance uses. For example, turn on your kettle and see how much electricity it uses.
Helping you stay on track with your energy consumption and spending. Just set your budget target on the smart meter. It will let you know if you go over.
Are smart meters good for the environment?
Well, they certainly can make a difference to your home’s impact on the environment.
We've already seen that by showing how much energy you use and when, a smart meter can help you consume less power. Needless to say, more thoughtful electricity consumption will help your household become more environmentally friendly.
But now, imagine rolling that out across the entire country…
If there was a "Smart National Grid" - one where every household has a smart meter - we can see how much power is needed at any moment and better understand the demands of the entire nation. Then The Grid could generate the right amount of energy at the right time, generating less when it's not needed.
Is a smart meter right for me?
By now, you can no doubt see that smart meters offer many benefits for consumers and the environment.
But are they right for YOU?
We can help you answer that for yourself in our smart meter yay or nay blog.
And hopefully, the experience of our current customers who use a smart meter has shown you the many potential benefits of installing a smart meter in your home.
Feel the Community power.
The E.ON Next Community is a space for customers just like you, to share experiences and offer a helping hand. Find support or suggest your own unique topics, plus get involved in discussions of all the latest news. Join the conversation now.