Recent research from SafeStyle has shown that customers are turning to Google to solve household queries and DIY conundrums, especially when it comes to new home technology including smart meters. And of those queries, topics range from the everyday to the extraordinary, with installation, health, money saving and even radiation.
With over 13 million smart meters in homes across Great Britain, Smart Energy GB’s resident smart expert, Robert Cheesewright answers five of the most Googled questions about smart meters from the last 12 months, and debunks a few myths in the process, to help retailers get the information across to customers in store.
- What is a smart meter?
A smart meter is the device that measures how much gas and how much electricity you use and replaces your old analogue system. It sends meter readings back to your energy supplier automatically, so you don’t have to. A smart meter can usually be found under the stairs, outside the front of your house on the wall, or set into the ground. Most smart meters come with an in-home display which is a separate device that sits inside your home showing you how much energy you’re using.
- Are there health risks associated with smart meters?
Smart meters are one of the safest pieces of equipment in your home. Research from Public Health England, the government’s watchdog on Public Health, shows that smart meters are not a danger to health.
A study carried out by PHE shows that exposure to radio waves from smart meters is one million times less than international health guideline levels and is much lower than that from other everyday devices such as mobile phones and Wi-Fi equipment.
- How does a smart meter save you money?
A smart meter alone will not save you money, but by using your in-home display you’ll have the information (and hopefully the motivation!) to enable you to make small changes to your behaviour when using energy at home to bring your bills down. In the long run a smart meter enables new products and services that could save households £100s. research has also found that being energy-wise could save engaged consumers over £50, and many households with medium to high energy consumption would be able to save £100 or more.
- Is a smart meter a good idea?
Yes. Getting a smart meter is a good idea for households and a good idea for Great Britain.
Smart meters will help bring Britain’s energy system into the 21st Century, forming an integral part of the creation of a smart energy system which will mean that our energy networks are run in a completely new way. Smart meters are also helping the nation to conserve energy which benefits the environment and will be particularly vital as the transition towards ultra-low emissions electric vehicles gathers speed.
- How long does it take to fit a smart meter?
Smart meter installations are arranged through your energy supplier and take about two hours to complete. While at your home, your installer will show you how to use your smart meter and the in-home display. What’s more, they will conduct a free visual safety check and give you some energy saving advice to get you started.
Robert Cheesewright, director of Corporate Affairs at Smart Energy GB, said: “Like any new technology, smart meters might seem like another gadget to get used to, but everything about them is designed to be simple, easy to use and offer immediate benefits. From helping to save money by using energy more efficiently, to having a positive impact on the environment, smart meters are the first step to a cleaner, greener and more sustainable future.”
 Research conducted by SafeStyle, published Daily Telegraph (UK) – 02/09/2019, P10.