Like us, you’re probably well acquainted with the process of grappling around under your stairs (or some other inaccessible place) with a torch, trying to decipher your gas meter in the vain hope of getting a reading. Well, we’ve got some good news – British Gas have announced plans to provide ‘Smart Meters’ in all homes by 2019. In fact, they’ve already started the roll out with over 160,000 homes now hooked up.
So, what is a Smart Meter? Well, it look pretty similar and will still be in a tucked away place, but now it will effectively reads itself! This new meter will communicate to an in-home display unit (aka ‘Smart Energy Monitor’), giving you an instant view of your energy consumption – both for gas and electricity. Another great thing is that British Gas, as part of the government’s plan to get all homes on smart meters, are installing their system for free.
The monitor will display, in near-real time, information about your energy usage (kWh), CO2 emissions as well as how much you’ve spent. It will also keep historical usage data so you can check how you’re consumption is changing over time. The meter will automatically transmit meter readings back to British Gas once a day, which (thankfully!) means the end of those fiddly meter readings and also, perhaps more importantly, the end of estimated bills.
Another interesting benefit of getting homes on to smart meters, is that it enables energy suppliers to monitor the amount of electricity being distributed and can therefore proactively manage their supply grids. This should enable them to automatically re-route power, monitor network assets and generally become more efficient.
You can find out more about the British Gas Smart Meters on their British Gas Smart Meter page.
They have also outlined their ‘Smart Vision’ in this YouTube video: