SMART METER INFO

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Digital Smart Meter Info

QUOTE

" I quite like the sound of the Smart Meters, especially as it doesn't stop us switching suppliers at a later date. I'm pretty certain I can convince the Committee (£1000 a year savings will win the argument I would imagine!). I've been in a constant battle with our current supplier because of either under or over estimated bills since I started the Secretaries' job nearly 5yrs ago - would have thought they had better knowledge of our usage by now! "

Llwchwr Workmens Club

Stephen Hill

Secretary

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SMART METERS - Commercial Utility Brokers.com work with suppliers who will fit a Smart Meter for your business absolutely FREE ! 

Smart meters are one of the big energy saving hopes by reducing the energy you use in your home, lowering your energy bill, and carbon emissions.

WHAT ARE THEY?

Smart meters are the next generation of electricity or Gasmeters. They are different from old-style meters as they are able to transmit and receive data, to and from your energy supplier, rather than just generating a read-out. They also provide a digital display for the consumer showing their total current power consumption along with approximate figures for cost and CO2 emissions, and comparisons of energy use on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

HOW ARE THEY DIFFERENT FROM HOME ENERGY METERS?

Home energy meters such as the OWL, Efergy and Wattson, only show the consumer their current power usage. They do not communicate with the energy supplier and have no control over your energy usage. They also are only able to monitor your electricity consumption, whereas smart meters measure your Gasand electricity. A new generation of wireless home energy meters are now on the market; making them more user friendly, with a wider range of capabilities including looking at your costs, CO2 emissions, as well as power usage.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF SMART METERS FOR THE CONSUMER?

  • No more meter readings - the energy company can read your meter automatically.
  • More accurate bills - your bill is always based on the exact energy you use, not on an estimate.
  • Lower bills - utilities will be able to pass on their reduction in customer service overheads.
  • Keep track of the energy you use - you can see your energy consumption on your TV, mobile phone or other display device and monitor your usage over time.
  • Sell energy back to the grid - if you generate your own energy (e.g. wind or solar power) you can sell any energy you don't use.
  • Flexible tariffs - utilities will be able to change the cost of electricity or Gasat certain times of the day to match with the demand. When demand is high, for instance between 5pm and 7pm (when people arrive home from work, switch on the TV, boil the kettle, and turn on the lights), energy prices are higher than at times of low demand such as in the middle of the night. Consumers will be able to alter their power use to match the lower tariff periods.

DEMAND SIDE MANAGMENT

Demand side management refers to actions taken to reduce the energy demand by end users, for instance by increasing the price of electricity during periods of peak demand, energy efficiency measures, and using automated control of appliances such as fridges. Fridges could be instructed to temporarily turn off at times of peak demand, automatically switching back on if the temperature inside the fridge rose too high. In periods of high demand and low electricity supply, smart meters could communicate with electric cars that are parked and fully charged, enabling the cars' batteries to provide power into the grid.

Smart meters will therefore play a significant role in the creation of a smart grid, as it is widely recognised that to deal with the intermittancy of renewable technologies (their variability and unpredictability), an integrated control of both energy supply and demand will be required.

WHAT ARE THE CARBON BENEFITS?

Changing behaviour patterns as a result of the introduction of smart meters will smooth demand peaks and cut emissions; consumers will be much more aware of the price of their electricity or Gasmotivating them to take measures to cut their usage, for instance switching off lights when they leave a room or turning down the thermostat.The number of times spare power generating capacity will need to be switched on or ramped up will be reduced; these are generally some of the most polluting such as coal-fired power stations.

HOW DO I GET ONE?

Some countries have already started uisng smart meters such as Italy where the majority of homes already have one, and Sweden. In the UK a new government plan will see smart meters introduced into all homes between 2012 and 2020, while large businesses will have them within five years. Already some energy suppliers provide them including EDF and First Utility.

WHO WILL PAY FOR THEM?

Smart meters are likely to cost over £100 which the utility company is meant to pay. It is likely most of these costs will be passed onto the consumer either directly (fixed installation fee), or indirectly (increased electricity prices). Potentially we will foot the bill for a gadget that will save energy companies money (though the advantages for the end user are probably worth the extra cost).

It is estimated around 26 million electricity and 22 million Gasmeters will need to be fitted at a total cost of £7bn; approximately £15 per household per year between 2010 and 2020. £10 of that will be accounted for in cost savings by the suppliers, leaving the customer to pick up the other £5.

WHAT YOU WILL SAVE?

The average consumer is likely to save 2% to 3% off their energy use each year, cutting their bills by £25 to £35, meaning overall, households could be better off by more than £20 a year.