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Smart Meters

Royal Voluntary Service is working with Smart Energy GB to highlight how switching to a smart meter can help you manage your energy at home, and stop you having to take inconvenient meter readings.  

When you’re on a tight budget it can be a struggle to make ends meet. A smart meter could make things a bit easier

“62% of those with a smart meter would recommend one”*

Smart meters record how much electricity or gas you use – just like your existing meters. But with a smart meter, you can also see how much energy you’re using, on an in-home display. The in-home display is sometimes called an IHD. It comes with the smart meter, and can help you keep a closer eye on how much energy you’re using, and how much it’s costing you.

How does it all work?

  1. The smart meter records your energy use, as you use it.
  2. The IHD shows how much energy you’re using, and what you’ve spent.
  3. The smart meter automatically sends readings to your energy supplier.
  4. You get a bill based on the amount of gas and electricity you used.

Having a smart meter means getting a bill based on how much energy you used – not an estimate. This could take some of the guesswork out of balancing your budget.

"I got a smart meter not only to save money, but to help with my knee disability. I am unable to read my meters because of the position they are in. It has been a godsend to me, enabling me to have a bill with a reading that is correct and not estimated." Alan

Watch how a smart meter has made a difference

Mary has dementia and lives by herself in her own home, but still struggles with bills.

Saving energy with a smart meter

Smart meters can help you save energy, but it’s not automatic. Many people find the in-home display useful. It allows you to have more information about your energy usage. This could help you work out how to save energy and money around the home. For example, by switching the TV off at the wall.

Renters, you can get a smart meter

If your gas and electricity bills are addressed to you and you pay them, you can ask your energy supplier for a smart meter. You don’t need your landlord’s permission, but you should let them know. If you don’t pay your energy bills, ask your landlord to get one installed for you.

Prepay customers, you can get a smart meter too

A prepay smart meter allows you to top up online, on your mobile or at the shops. You should be able to put money on the meter from the comfort of your home whenever it suits you.

Accessible in-home display

The accessible in-home display is sometimes called an AIHD. If you need an accessible in-home display, they’re available from some suppliers. They have larger buttons and can read information out loud.

An AIHD could be helpful if you are:

  • blind or partially sighted
  • have difficulties using your hands or wrists, or
  • have difficulties with memory loss

Ask your energy supplier about an accessible in-home display.

A smart meter could help you and the person you care for

Right now, many of us are worried about higher energy bills. And when you’re caring for someone, you may have two bills to think about. A smart meter could help.

You can get in touch with the energy supplier of the person you care for and ask if they can get one.

How to get a smart meter

Search ‘get a smart meter’ today. Or get in touch with your energy supplier and ask if you can get one. You can find contact details on your bill. Or to find some supplier’s free-phone and textphone numbers visit   

Download a copy of A smart meter could give you peace of mind in money's tight to give to someone you know. Also available in Welsh.

If you are worried about paying your energy bill visit for help.

*Populus commissioned by Smart Energy GB, (March 2020), Smart Energy Outlook