Households split over the benefits of smart meters, survey finds

Households split over the benefits of smart meters, survey finds

Households split over the benefits of smart meters, survey finds

Households are gradually being won over by smart meters, although a significant proportion still believe the rollout has not been worth it, a survey suggests.

More than two-fifths (43%) agree with the statement that the smart meter rollout has been worth it, according to MoneySuperMarket

Within this group, nearly a fifth (19%) strongly support the rollout.

Nearly a quarter (24%) of billpayers however believe that the smart meter rollout has not been worth it, the research found.

Many other people surveyed were neither for nor against smart meters.


Smart meters are an integral part of a wider move to a more connected home that will help us live more sustainably

Stephen Murray, MoneySuperMarket

Smart meters have a display that shows people their energy use in “real time”, potentially helping them to reduce their consumption and their bills.

However, issues have arisen during their rollout, including concerns that some households with smart meters may have fewer options when they want to switch to new gas and electricity deals.

Those in support of smart meters said they had helped consumers become more energy conscious, brought an end to estimated bills and encouraged a better understanding of how the energy market operates, MoneySuperMarket said.

More than three-quarters (78%) of those opposed to smart meters believe they have been a waste of money, while a fifth (21%) believe the in-home display is out of date and would have preferred an app, it also found.

In response to the question: “Has your smart meter changed the way you use energy?”, people were split evenly. Nearly a third (29%) said yes, while 28% said they had not.

Stephen Murray, energy expert at MoneySuperMarket said: “What our research finds is that after many bumps in the road and doubts about their benefits, smart meters are winning consumers over, with more in support of their rollout than against.”

He added: “Smart meters are an integral part of a wider move to a more connected home that will help us live more sustainably.

“And it won’t be long before suppliers are making tariffs available via smart meters that can truly reward you with cheaper bills for using energy at off-peak times.”

Some 2,000 adults responsible for paying for energy in their home were surveyed in July.

Robert Cheesewright, director at Smart Energy GB, which communicates the benefits of smart meters, said: “Today’s new research shows that by a margin of almost two to one the public backs smart meters – and that’s before most of us have experienced the bulk of the benefits of a smarter energy system.

“The rollout has had its challenges and energy meters are not something people inherently spend lots of time thinking about, but what has become overwhelmingly clear is how necessary smart meters are for a more affordable, cleaner energy system.”


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