Smart Energy Report: The online guide to your energy habits

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Regular readers will be aware that we’ve been working with the folks at British Gas to take a look at their new smart meters. So far we’ve covered how the meters work and the benefits they bring to individual households as well as the environment in general (through encouraging us to consider our energy consumption). In this final instalment, we’ll be looking at the Smart Energy Report (SER) which is a free online tool provide by British Gas to analyse your energy consumption habits.

Before we explain some of our findings, check out this intro video:

The Smart Energy Report is available to all British Gas customers who have opted to upgrade to smart meters. It enables you to see your past hourly, daily, weekly or monthly energy usage and how much it cost you. Another interesting element of the report is the “Explore by use” page which gives you a breakdown of what services (appliances, hot water, cooking, etc.) use the most energy and how much they’ve cost you. In our case, the cost of using appliances was more than four times what we generally spent on lighting – they clearly know we sit in the dark on our computers!

Check out this example of a Smart Energy Report:

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In addition to providing these interesting stats, the SER also provides personalised tips on how you can save energy as well as a comparison of your household consumption compared to similar households in the local area. As we’re a house full of technology it’s not surprising to learn that we’ve been using around 40% more electricity than our neighbours! Obviously this is not something to be proud of as it means we’re spending more and that we’re not really doing ‘our part’ when it comes to trying to tackle energy usage and its related environmental impact.

Once you’ve had the smart meters installed, you will be emailed your Smart Energy Report or you can access it any time via the British Gas web site. Those who don’t have an online account need not panic as the company will also post out your report, seven days after each bill. In order to receive the most detailed report, customers need to opt in to half-hourly meter readings (which are done automatically of course). However, if you’re happy with a less detailed report, then can you opt in for daily readings.

To find out more about the Smart Energy Report and the new smart meters, visit www.britishgas.co.uk/smart

 

The words above are our own, but in the interest of transparency this post should be considered as sponsored.

Smart Meters – A look at their global rollout

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As part of our ongoing series with the folks at British Gas, this time we’re looking at the roll out of smart meters around the world. These days it’s well accepted that tackling environmental issues, such as energy consumption, is something that needs to be done at a global level. Compared to some of our European neighbours, I think it’s fair to say we consider ourselves to be at the forefront of new technology. However, when it comes to embracing smart meters, we’re far behind the likes of Italy where an incredible 94% (37 million) households now use smart meters.

In fact, the roll out of smart meters is being embraced around the world. According to research by Berg Insight, conservative estimates forecast that between 90-130 million meters will be installed every year from now until 2022.  In the USA it’s predicted, by the US Energy Information Administration, that nearly a quarter (23%) of electrical customers now have smart meters.

Closer to home, in Ireland, there was a large-scale trial of smart metering which aimed to achieve a 2% decrease in energy usage as well as to assess the response of customers to this new technology. Following the success of this trial, the Commission of Energy Regulation announced the approval to rollout smart meters between 2014 and 2019.

In the UK, in addition to the work being done by British Gas, there is also a trial by Northern Powergrid which has implemented a “Customer-Led Network Revolution”.  This involves trailing a number of smart grid solutions and energy efficient technologies such as solar PV panels, heat pumps, electric vehicles and the installation of 14,000 smart meters in the North East and Yorkshire.

The programme will also deploy new technology on the electricity network and implement commercial solutions such as tariffs and different pricing structures. Northern Powergrid aims to create a successful and beneficial smart grid solution and is trialing ‘time-of-use’ tariffs to encourage the use of electricity during off peak periods.

You can find out more about smart meters in this video from British Gas and via their dedicated web site.

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’.

British Gas to roll out ‘Smart Meters’ to all homes by 2019

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:

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