14 September 2018 Metering, Smart Meter Rollout

Smart meter installation encouraged with the offer of cheaper ‘smart tariffs’

Women looking at energy bills

As the smart meter rollout surpassed 12 million installations during the first six months of 2018, energy suppliers introduced a raft of new tariffs aimed at encouraging even more British consumers to get a smart meter, helping them save energy and money in the process.

So far this year a total of 15 tariffs have been launched by suppliers offering smart meter users cheaper-than-average rates on their energy consumption.

According to market analysis of these new ‘smart tariffs’, the average price across the 15 different deals (14 of them being dual-fuel, one electricity only) is £1,049 a year. The cheapest deal is Usio’s Smart Green Fixed tariff at £867.

Figures from Ofgem, the industry regulator, show that the average standard variable tariff (SVT) across Britain’s Big Six energy suppliers was £1,145 in July 2018, meaning the majority of smart tariffs represent a saving.

Smart meter benefits

As this saving is solely attributed to the cheaper rate of power being offered by suppliers through their smart tariffs, it does not reflect the even greater scale of cost-cutting benefits available to smart meter customers who actively use their device to help reduce consumption.

By displaying energy usage in (near) real time in pounds and pence, smart meters can help customers make more informed decisions about how and when they use it.

In a major nationwide poll commissioned by Smart Energy GB earlier this year, consumers overwhelmingly backed the technology, with the majority (82 per cent) of people with a smart meter saying they have a better idea of what they are spending on energy and had taken steps to reduce their usage.

Robert Cheesewright, the policy director at Smart Energy GB, the industry-funded body tasked with promoting the roll-out, said smart meters are essential to managing the country’s future energy demands.

He added: “The best advice we can give people is to not miss out on a deal that gives you both a cheaper tariff and a smart meter.”

Time-of-use tariffs

Besides the launch of smart tariffs aimed at getting the British public to join the smart energy revolution, over the past year or so a handful of energy suppliers have additionally unveiled their next-generation pricing structures: time-of-use (ToU) tariffs.

As more and more people take up the opportunity of a smart meter, these new tariffs are expected change the way we use and are supplied energy for good, paving the way for the realisation of maximum smart energy consumption within homes and businesses.

ToU tariffs look to incentivise customers to use more energy during off-peak periods, and less of it when supply is low or demand is high. They do this by charging cheaper rates at certain times of night or day, when demand is at its lowest, and higher rates at popular times.

Though ToU tariffs are already on the market, in the future customers will be able to reap maximum savings through the use of home battery storage and connected household devices working in tandem with a smart meter to react to price changes automatically.

You can read more about the benefits of ToU tariffs in our blog here.