hen it comes to keeping track of your energy consumption, waiting for a monthly bill is a decidedly last-century way of doing things. Increasingly, British households are finding they can effectively keep track of their use of gas and electricity via a smart meter with an in-home display (IHD).
Installed at no extra cost by energy suppliers, they provide near real-time energy data, allowing people to spot when they’re using the most energy, and where they might be able to cut waste.
Good for the tenant, good for the landlord
Around 19.5 million adults in the UK are private renters. Yet research conducted by Smart Energy GB found that less than a third of them have a smart meter in their home, compared to nearly half of all householders overall. This is despite the fact that the bill-payer has a legal right to have a smart meter installed.
However, landlords need not worry if their tenants request one, because the benefits to them are also considerable. Smart meters provide easy and immediate end-of-tenancy and start-of-tenancy readings, which means landlords will only pay for the exact amount of energy used in empty properties between tenancies, rather than estimated bills.
Come the end of a tenancy, smart meters give landlords an accurate picture of energy costs to share with potential new tenants. A smart meter also reduces the chances of departing tenants disputing a final bill with the incoming tenants, because the bills are always up to date rather than estimated. Meaning no over or under payments to sort out.
With 41 per cent of renters in a Smart Energy GB survey saying their energy bills increased over a year of lockdown, and 31 per cent saying they have become more aware of their energy use, smart meters are a useful budgeting tool for households.
And as the colder months approach at a time when rising energy costs are making newspaper headlines, we’re all going to have to become a lot more conscious of conserving our energy. Time to get smarter, then.