Going Green - Making savings on rising bills using a smart energy meter

Latest article from Angela Terry

Urge to use a Smart Energy Meter (photo: Adobe)
Urge to use a Smart Energy Meter (photo: Adobe)

Latest article from Angela Terry

Green Green campaigner and consumer expert, Angela Terry, separates climate change facts from fiction and here she explains how you can take simple, practical steps to help save the planet. Follow @ouronehome & visit https://onehome.org.uk/ for more advice.

Hide Ad

Q: Can my smart meter help me save money on my bills?

Most Popular

    A: Yes!

    It can help you keep on top of your energy use.

    Hide Ad

    In itself, it can’t cut your bills, but it provides you with a great tool to understand where and when you can reduce your energy consumption.

    Knowledge is power!

    Hide Ad

    Here’s the lowdown ...

    What is a smart meter?

    Hide Ad
    Urge to use a Smart Energy Meter (photo: Adobe)

    Smart meters measure exactly how much gas and electricity you’re using and transmit this information to your energy supplier via a remote connection.

    Hide Ad

    They mean you are only paying for the actual energy you’ve used rather than an estimate.

    More than 40 per cent of all domestic and small business meters are now smart.

    Hide Ad

    Every home and office in England, Scotland and Wales will have been offered one for free by mid-2025.

    Second generation smart meters are compatible with any supplier so you can still switch your provider.

    Hide Ad

    Saving money

    Smart meters can help you reduce your energy consumption, save money and lower your carbon footprint.

    Hide Ad

    Using the info from your smart meter, you can make savings around your home.

    For example, you can identify times and situations when you’re using more energy.

    Hide Ad

    This can help you work out which appliances are using up energy unnecessarily, such as computers or televisions on standby.

    You could also work out how much energy your washing machine saves by switching to eco mode or line drying instead of tumble drying.

    Hide Ad

    In-home display

    To get the most out of your smart meter, it pays to get to know your in-home display (IHD), the small screen that shows your energy usage.

    Hide Ad

    It lets you know your energy consumption in terms of kilowatt-hours (kWh) and pounds and pence.

    On most displays, you can choose to see this data as daily, weekly or monthly.

    Hide Ad

    You can also see real-time data, allowing you to work out the energy consumption of particular appliances.

    Some meters show energy usage in graph form, so you can see peaks and troughs over time.

    Hide Ad

    Finally, you can use the display to check if your spending is higher than usual, as it shows historic consumption.

    The future

    Hide Ad

    Having a smart meter will allow you to take advantage of ‘time of use’ tariffs, meaning it will cost you less to use energy at off-peak times.

    You might even get paid to use electricity, for example on a windy day, when there’s a lot of energy generated by wind farms.

    Hide Ad

    We’re already starting to see some of these tariffs, such as Agile Octopus from Octopus Energy.

    Celebrity spot

    Hide Ad

    Former Manchester United footballer Chris Smalling has launched a venture capital fund to invest in eco-friendly start-ups.

    Footballer, Chris Smalling (photo: Getty Images)
    Hide Ad

    He wants to attract other high-profile figures to back the planet with him. Called ‘ForGood, his fund will invest between £50,000 and £1 million in companies that are “addressing the world’s largest environmental challenges, such as climate change”.

    Currently signed to Roma, Smalling is known to follow a plant-based diet and previously invested in vegan food company Heura.

    Hide Ad

    Green swap

    Shop online instead of driving to supermarkets.

    Hide Ad
    Shop online recommended instead of going to the store (photo: Adobe)

    Surveys show online shopping brings significant environmental benefits.

    Hide Ad

    On average online shopping generates 36 per cent less emissions than visits to stores, even factoring in packaging and percentage of returns.

    Top tips to enjoy eco-friendly camping holidays

    Hide Ad

    Camping is a fantastic way to enjoy the great outdoors.

    Try eco-friendly camping (photo: Adobe)
    Hide Ad

    However, it’s best to tread lightly on your environment when staying under canvas.

    Here are some tips ...

    Hide Ad

    Stay local

    The UK is full of beautiful places.

    Hide Ad

    There’s no need to max out your carbon footprint by driving for days.

    Also, try and keep car trips to a minimum while you’re there.

    Hide Ad

    Some campsites are close to bus or railway stations.

    Traveling by public transport also helps with soaring petrol prices.

    Hide Ad

    Rent a tent

    We’ve all seen the terrible pictures after festivals when many people have left their tents behind.

    Hide Ad

    While some tents may be cheap, they are not disposable items.

    At the same time, buying lots of camping equipment and then storing it in the garage most of the year makes no environmental or financial sense either.

    Hide Ad

    If you don’t have the space at home to store bulky equipment, why not try renting?

    You can rent tents and equipment online from Ibex Camping, Contented Camping or Outdoor Hire.

    Hide Ad

    They will courier your items to you. Or ask a friend to borrow theirs.

    Choose a green campsite

    Hide Ad

    It’s a great idea to choose an eco-friendly campsite.

    The Greener Camping Club has an online directory of low-impact, small, quiet campsites that are gentle on the environment. Campsites.co.uk also offers 215 eco campsites that put nature at the heart of what they do.

    Hide Ad

    Cook sustainably

    Please try to avoid disposable barbecues.

    Hide Ad

    Campfires can be fun, but they’re not really all that efficient when it comes to cooking.

    What’s more, they are increasingly dangerous as catalysts for forest fires.

    Hide Ad

    This is why many campsites do not allow disposable barbecues, so do please follow the rules.

    You can now buy small wood burning camping stoves that can be run on handfuls of wood and also on pinecones and grass.

    Hide Ad

    Decathlon’s Quechua camping stove costs around £60, while German brand Bushcraft Essentials offer a fold-up Bushbox for approximately £30.

    BioLite offers a wood-burning camping stove, £175, that also has a USB port, so you can use it to charge your mobile.

    Hide Ad

    Clear up

    Leave the place as you found it by taking away all your rubbish.

    Hide Ad

    The trick is to bring as little disposable things as possible.

    Many campsites offer recycling and composting facilities so it’s good to separate out your waste or take it to a local council facility.

    Hide Ad

    Fact or fiction

    Idling your car engine causes air pollution.

    Hide Ad

    True!

    Air pollution causes 36,000 premature deaths annually in UK. Main cause is road traffic fumes.

    Hide Ad

    Switch off your car, especially near schools. Causes less emissions to turn it off and back on.

    For previous articles visit:

    Hide Ad
    Hide Ad
    Hide Ad
    Hide Ad
    Hide Ad
    Hide Ad
    Hide Ad