Update: Living with British Gas Smart Meters

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We’ve already given away a digital camera as part of our collaboration with the folks at British Gas, who are looking to raise awareness and uptake of their smart meters. This week we’re going to take a look at the ‘journey so far’ and share some additional information about why this technology represents the future.

As part our work with British Gas, I had two smart meters installed at home earlier this year. In addition to the aforementioned benefits of not having to manually take and send readings, the other key benefit of smart meters is the improved visibility of how much energy you are consuming. This is possible thanks to a nifty energy monitor which wirelessly communicates with your meters and gives you a history of your energy usage as well as the cost.

It’s quite entertaining (and, of course, informative) to watch the monitor change as you turn on a kettle, or hit the standby button on your slightly-bigger-than-needed TV. You end up running around the house trying to work out what’s using electricity – which I guess is the point! Admittedly the novelty of this does wear off after a while but then you start to use it differently, for example comparing usage month to month.

British Gas have produced the following interactive infographic which takes a look at energy consumption:

Perhaps it’s because I’m a geek at heart, but ultimately I have the opinion that you can’t have too information when it comes to how much you are being charged for services such as gas, electricity and your phone. With the latter of those, I’ve always opted for itemised bills, simply because I don’t like to have any grey areas when it comes to why my bill was X amount. The roll out of Smart Meters is a step in the right direction for bringing clarity to your energy bills. British Gas have released this slick video which aims to highlight the benefits:

You can also find out more information on the firm’s smart meters page.

 

We are working with British Gas on a smart meter campaign. The words and opinions above are ours, however this should be considered a ‘sponsored post’.

Win a Kodak EasyShare camera courtesy of British Gas

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What’s the deal?

We’ve teamed up with the folks at British Gas to look at how they’re introducing Smart Meters to their customers. This comes off the back of a recent EU directive which set the ambitious target of having smart metering systems in 80% of UK households by 2020. British Gas are seen as leading the way in rolling out smart meters and they are working with blogs like ours to help raise awareness of the benefits of this ‘smart future’.

So, what does a Smart Meter do?

Smart meters replace current gas and electricity meters. British Gas are doing this upgrade free of charge. In addition to the new meters you’ll also get a smart energy monitor (that can easily be placed in a kitchen or dining room) which shows your energy use in pounds and pence. Readings from the smart meters are automatically sent to British Gas, which means you don’t have to submit your meter readings – avoiding the sometimes back breaking task of getting under the stairs with a torch! It also brings to an end the era of estimated bills. British Gas uses the consumption readings to provide you with a full array of clever insights into your consumption, including personalised energy efficiency advice.

You can find out more about the technology via their microsite and this YouTube video:

What are the other benefits of these new meters?

In addition to eliminating estimated bills and giving customers highly accurate usage information, the roll out is also going to benefit the UK economy too, as summed up nicely in this infographic:

infographic

Did you mention a competition?

Yes, well remembered! To celebrate the launch of this campaign, British Gas have kindly provided us with a Kodak EasyShare Sports camera, which has 12 Megapixels fixed focus lens, a 2.4” (6.1 cm) LCD, and also captures video… and can go almost anywhere since it’s also waterproof (3 m/10 ft) and dustproof!

To enter, just visit our Competwition page here!

Want to register your interest in getting a free Smart Meter upgrade?

Great stuff, British Gas have a dedicated page for this – here