The Green Room: What happens when you put two sustainability experts in a room and ask them if the smart meter rollout is really worth it? In this episode Nick and James talk smart meters; pros & cons of having one installed, and some of the challenges being experienced in the current government roll-out. Later, they tackle the curse of the cold conservatory and how to retrofit some warmer solutions.
What are Smart Meters?
Smart meters measure your gas and electricity consumption and automatically send those readings back to your energy company. They are currently being installed free of charge across the UK – the Government wants every house to have them by 2020.
How can I get a Smart Meter Installed?
You can contact your energy provider if they haven’t already done so. If you would like to have the smart meters installed, the best advice is to speak to your energy company and see when they are offering this service in your area. Once you have gone down this route and have the new meters installed, you probably won’t be able to go back to your old style meter.
Smart Meters and Prepayment
You can still have a smart meter if you are on a prepayment tariff. Just means the meter type may well be slightly different to a non-prepayment meter.
Smart Meters and Swapping Energy Suppliers
Second generation meters should seamlessly integrate between different suppliers. So if you are with Energy Company X and you have had a smart meter installed by them in the past and you want to move suppliers, then it should be no problem. If the meters do not integrate well, then the energy supplier (Energy Company Y) has an obligation to swap it with no cost to the consumer.
**Part 2 of the Podcast – Living in a Cold Conservatory
We take questions from our readers; one in particular has had challenges in keeping her conservatory warm during the colder winter months. We discuss the costs and benefits of potentially retrofitting an existing conservatory to make it more energy efficient; and whether you are better off just starting again.