Smart meters increasing consumer energy awareness, new report finds

Image: British Gas.

The roll-out of smart energy meters is making consumers more likely to be aware of their energy consumption and take steps to reduce it, a new report has found.

Smart Energy GB’s ‘Smart Energy Outlook’ report, published today, found that the vast majority (84%) of consumers who had received a smart meter from their utility considered themselves to have a better idea of their energy costs, while 69% thought they were in more control of their energy use.

This has translated into households being more likely to look to reduce their energy use, particularly through the purchase of more efficient appliances and energy efficiency technologies.

The report found that four in five people who had recently had a smart meter installed had taken steps to reduce their energy use, 45% of which were monitoring their consumption more closely than before.

Ten per-cent had researched how to make their home more energy efficient through technology installations, while 17% had purchased more efficient appliances as a result.

The study was carried out on behalf of Smart Energy GB by research firm Populus, who consulted more than 10,000 people for the report.

Sacha Deshmukh, chief executive at Smart Energy GB, said the research demonstrated that UK residents are now using new technologies to bring their utility bills “under control”.

“People with smart meters are much better informed about how much gas and electricity they are using, and feel greater levels of control over their energy use and bills.

“Today’s report also makes clear the importance of the simple handheld display unit offered to every household when their smart meter is fitted. These are offered by every energy supplier at no extra cost, and mean that everyone can see what they’re spending at a glance – including those who do not have easy access to the internet at home,” he said.

The government intends to install a smart meter in every UK home by 2020 but is currently behind on its target. It is anticipated that just 3.5 million smart meters have been installed in homes and businesses to date.