Autumn has arrived and with winter hot on its heels, I’m already starting to think about how the colder weather and darker evenings will affect our energy bills. To suggest that our flat is rather draughty is the mother of all understatements and I absolutely hate dragging myself out of bed on a winter morning.
Energy bills are not the sexiest of subjects but once the mortgage has been paid it’s actually one of the largest outgoings in our household. Combine draughts and expensive-to-run storage heaters with a husband who can multi-task to watch football on the TV and a film on the iPad, whilst simultaneously bashing away on a laptop, and our bills look something like the national debt.
Having no way of knowing how much electricity we’re using, or how much it is costing us as we go along is a pain. This plays out with the constant chopping and changing of our direct debit to our energy supplier – either being in debt to them, or as is the case at the moment, them owing us (a lot).
I’m always looking out for ways to save on our bills, so I was really pleased to hear that the energy industry is finally modernising, and help is on the way.
Between now and 2020, every home in Great Britain will be offered a smart meter by their energy supplier, at no additional cost. Smart meters automatically measure and communicate the gas and electricity we use, meaning accurate bills and an end to unpredictable estimates. Best of all a smart meter display provides near real time information on energy use in pounds and pence, so we can finally keep track of what we’re using (in my case, what my husband is using!) and reap instant rewards from any energy saving changes we make in our homes.
It’s essential to stay cosy and comfortable during the winter months – and I’m certainly not one to scrimp on lights and heating when I need them on – but there are plenty of small changes we can all make to help keep the costs down… and no, I’m not talking about locking my husband out! Smart meters make this journey a whole lot easier because they let us see the real cost of leaving devices on standby, and help us compare our outgoings when we invest in some thicker curtains to keep the heat in, or run the washing machine at a lower temperature.
Smart Energy GB is the consumer campaign for smart meters. Their independent research report Smart energy outlook has shown that those who have a smart meter are more confident in the accuracy of their bills and the information they have available in order to make decisions about energy.
Sometimes we all need a helping hand to cut back, but using a smart meter is just one way to stay well, warm and in control this winter. Even if – like us – you haven’t had yours installed yet, this Smart Thermometer graphic will help you get started with some tried and tested energy saving tips from smart meter customers and energy experts. I’m definitely going to give them a go this winter.
Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored content – however, my husband does work for Smart Energy GB (and raves constantly about smart meters).