By making simple changes, you can create a more energy efficient home with reduced energy bills and a lower carbon footprint. Now that is smart!
Did you know, according to a national Smart Energy GB poll, 86% of people with a smart meter said that they have changed how they do things around the house to use less energy?
By changing the most simple of behaviours around the home, aided by your new smart meter, you could make a big difference to your bills, and an even bigger difference to our planet by helping reduce energy usage and cut carbon.
Watch our short video below, which explains how we use energy in our homes and offers simple advice on improving energy efficiencies with a smart meter.
In Britain, we spend on average over £1,100 per year on energy. It’s an essential service for our way of life, but a sizeable portion of this energy is wasted on a regular basis. This video is designed to help you understand how to truly take control of your energy consumption.
Approximately 62% of your energy consumption is used to heat your home and hot water. 18% is used to light your home and 9% is used to power your electricals.
I'm going to give you some easy tips you can use straight away. They’ll help you save energy and saving energy means saving money.
Always use a kettle to boil water. Heating water in a pan on a hob uses far more energy because it takes longer. Also, only boil the water you need. Remember, wasted water is wasted energy, and that wasted energy is costing you around £6 a year.
A refrigerator is one of the few appliances that's always switched on, so it's important to ensure yours works efficiently. Overfilling, overcooling and not giving it space to disperse heat causes the fridge to work harder, consume more energy and cost you more money. Ensure your fridge is at a happy 5°, has space for air flow inside, has complete and undamaged seals around the door, and a clear, dust-free back to disperse heat efficiently. These things alone could save you around £40 a year.
Using a microwave is much more energy efficient than using a gas or electric oven. If you're choosing an oven, electric ones are more energy efficient, but gas energy is substantially cheaper, so a gas oven is actually cheaper to run.
When using a washing machine, try and only wash full loads. One cycle less a week can save you £5 a year, plus savings on your water bill. Washing at 30° is also an easy energy saver. Avoid using a tumble dryer as it uses a lot of energy, whereas the cost of hang drying is £0.
Using a bowl when washing up rather than a running tap can save you around £25 a year.
Simple things like turning lights off when they're not needed can save as much as £15 a year.
Electricals left on standby cost you around £30 a year. Money that can literally be saved by a flick of a switch.
So far, we've discussed simple housekeeping measures that will help you save money, energy and reduce your emissions, but cost nothing. However, there are further measures you can take by improving some aspects around your home.
For example, using energy efficient light bulbs, using a more efficient cooker like an induction cooker, replacing traditional gas boilers with combi boilers, better insulating your home and installing double glazing. Your energy supplier can help you with most of these measures. If you would like them to get in touch, please let your meter engineer know.
So what do smart meters do exactly?
The old meter systems simply counted your energy usage, relying on you to give accurate meter readings to suppliers. Smart meters are in a constant conversation with a secure energy data network.
This network provides an energy company and distribution centre with the live information they need to help improve efficiency and optimise resources.
Using your smart meter, you can check your energy usage via the in-home display. Over time, you'll be able to compare current and past consumption to help manage your energy efficiency.
If you're having your gas meter exchanged, the engineer will need to carry out some checks to ensure the system is safe before work begins. These checks include: a system tightness check to check for possible leaks, flue and ventilation checks of all gas appliances, flame and safety device checks. If any issues are identified, your engineer will talk to you about what actions are needed to ensure you and your home are safe. If you have any questions during these checks, your engineer will be happy to help.
One of the by-products of burning natural gas is carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is an odourless poisonous gas, so it’s important to ensure it can escape. There are two ways of doing this: room sealed appliances, such as boilers, take air directly from outside then send the exhaust gases back out via a flue. Open-flued appliances, such as gas fires, take air from inside a room and expel the exhaust gases back out through a flue.
If a flue, or the room ventilation, becomes compromised, the appliance won't function properly and may begin producing carbon monoxide. For this reason, it's advisable to have a carbon monoxide monitor in the room where your appliance operates. It is also important to have all appliances checked regularly. If you’re having your electric meter exchanged, the engineer will carry out checks to ensure all the current systems are safe and all safety devices are working properly. If there are any issues, your engineer will tell you about what actions are needed.
On completion of any meter exchange, your engineer will carry out all the checks again to ensure the new system is operating safely. Your meter installation engineer will show you how to use your new smart meter. If you would like any further advice, please let your meter installer know.
Your handy home energy efficiency guide
A smarter, more environmentally friendly home isn’t defined by a smart meter, though getting one installed is certainly a big step towards it. Not least because smart meters are enabling all sorts of new energy-saving technologies that will help us achieve a low-carbon future.
In addition to our explainer video above, we've produced this handy energy efficiency guide, which offers some very simple tips on how to use less energy around the home.
For further energy efficiency tips, visit Smart Energy GB