Smart meters are, for the moment, not very widely adopted. Only an estimated 50,000 homes have them installed, and that’s nothing compared to the 26 million plus households in the UK – but more households will get them soon. Tens of millions of households, in fact.
In our guide “what are smart meters”, we addressed what smart meters are and our relationship with energy. In a nutshell, we noted that the way we monitor our energy consumption is dated, and we discussed how smart meters are going to change that.
But let’s take a step back and look at the smart meter rollout itself.
Smart meter rollout
The Governments wants every household to have a smart meter by 2020. Homes in England, Wales and Scotland will be offered a smart meter by their energy supplier before 2020. Why the rollout? Quite simply, the European Union asked member states to look into smart meters as a way of better controlling energy consumption in order to tackle climate change.
After a study, the British government found them to be highly effective, and as a result we now have the smart meter rollout being talked about today.
We are now at the installation stage of the smart meter rollout and all energy suppliers will be sending letters out to customers or calling them from 2016-2020. The contact you receive will likely discuss the benefits of the smart meter and you will most likely have to opt in, meaning you will need to fill in and send off a form to order a smart meter or order one on the phone.
Related: What is the ENERGY STAR?
Energy suppliers won’t be sending smart meters out randomly. The Government expects smart meter installations to rise sharply in 2016 with a staggering 20 million smart meters installed between 2016 and 2018 – over half the target in two years.
Are smart meters going to be compulsory?
No, smart meters are simply an option you have. Households can choose whether or not they have a smart meter installed – you can stick with your old meter if that’s what you want. This actually risks the smart meter rollout itself, because the Government can’t exactly push the smart meter onto us. It’s up to energy suppliers to spread awareness and us consumers to adopt them.
The Government aims to have 53 million smart meters fitted in over 30 million premises by 2020, and the way they will achieve this is through the method of the rollout; everyone in the United Kingdom is now entitled to a smart meter and it won’t cost households anything to get one. That’s right – smart meters are free! To get yours sooner than 2020, contact your energy supplier – they will be able to ascertain your current eligibility.