If you’re like most people, energy is probably one of your biggest expenditures. If you’re managing a busy family home, your bills may creep up during certain months. From the cost of summer air conditioning to heating in the winter, it all contributes to hefty bills for your household.
At Precise Plumbing & Electrical, we do what we can to help our customers save money. If you’re yet to add a smart meter to your property, we’re here to explain why you need one.
First of all, what is a smart meter?
A smart meter is a device that measures the amount of energy you’re using. In most cases, it only tracks your electricity usage. Depending on the type of smart meter you use, you may receive daily analytics on your energy consumption. Using the information you gain, you can start saving money on your energy bills. It’s a little like having a calorie counter, but for your home.
The benefits of having a smart meter
The biggest benefit of having a smart meter is that you can track your energy use. Each day, your meter will give an estimation of how much energy you’ve used. It may also provide an estimate of how much you’re spending.
Tracking energy usage motivates you to use less
When you see how much energy you’re using and how much it’s costing, you’ll be motivated to use less of it. We recommend that our customers start by making small changes and see how these changes affect their bills over the course of a few days. For example, you could take one minute off your usual shower time, stop charging items pointlessly, and quit leaving your television on standby. If you start to notice a difference in your daily energy costs, you can make more changes again.
Your kids adopt better energy habits
If you’re a parent, you’re probably familiar with the frustrations that come with your kids’ electricity use. From leaving the lights on during the daytime to charging their phones constantly, they have plenty of ways to waste energy. When you have a smart meter, you can use it to educate your children about their energy habits. Over time, this may result in them using less and taking a better approach when they move out of your home.
You can find better energy deals
When you sign up to an energy provider, they’ll perform an estimate of how much electricity you’re using. Should that estimate fall short of what you actually use, you may find yourself facing a sudden large bill. Your smart meter gives unparalleled accurate insights into your electricity consumption. When you gather all the data, you can find an energy deal that won’t result in hidden financial surprises.
You can take a smart approach to energy use
If your electricity tariff is split between peak and off-peak periods, you’ll soon see the difference in your smart meter’s reports. Once the meter is in place, you can begin experimenting with your energy use to lower your bills. For example, household goods such as washing machines and tumble dryers use a lot of energy. By using them during the off-peak periods, you can make a big difference to the amount you spend.
No more meter readings
Okay, so meter readings aren’t a regular occurrence. In most cases, they’ll happen around once a year. But if you’re a shift worker or you simply want to relax in peace, letting someone into your property to read your meter feels like a burden. As smart meters send everything to your energy provider remotely, you can say goodbye to meter readings. This also means you’ll no longer have to locate meters in awkward places when your electricity company asks you to do the job yourself.
Early warnings before power outages
If you’ve ever experienced a power outage, you’ll know how sudden they can feel. Although it seems as though power loss comes out of nowhere, your electrical system will show subtle signs. Your smart meter will detect the warning signs that a power outage is imminent and send a warning to your energy provider. As a result, your electricity supplier will have the chance to act quickly and prevent long-lasting outages. With any luck, you’ll avoid irritating expenses such as defrosted freezers and ruined food.
The environment sees the benefits
If you love the idea of helping the environment as well as saving money, using a smart meter will make your task easier. Each time you reduce your energy consumption, you’re reducing your carbon footprint. In a world where climate change is a hot topic, helping the planet is always a good thing.
You get more from your solar panels
If you’ve installed solar panels at your property, you’ll want to get as much as you can from your investment. In a lot of cases, solar panels don’t cover all your electricity demands. Unless you install battery storage, that is. With a smart meter, you can track your electricity use and make your solar energy go further. Because of this, you’ll get more from your investment.
Are you smart meter ready?
Not all switchboards are compliant to house smartmeters eg, timber panel or asbestos panel switchboards
The compliance regulations around meter upgrades are stringent, based on SA Power Networks Service Rules and Australian Standards.
Existing switchboards often require upgrading to meet current standards prior to smartmeters being installed.
How to apply for a smart meter
You will get a smart meter if your current meter is faulty or at the end of its life and needs replacing.
If you want to upgrade your existing meter to a smart meter, you can contact your electricity retailer and request a meter exchange.
Be aware that new solar installations on existing properties may require main switchboard upgrades to accommodate a smartmeter.
This is often an oversite or ignored which can result in further costs and delays to the solar rebates.
Using your smart meter correctly
Now that you’re sold on the benefits of installing a smart meter, you need to know how to use one. In most cases, your smart meter will measure the amount of energy you use every 30 minutes. On the display, you’ll see the amount of energy you’ve used in kWh. Some smart meters will also tell you when you used the energy, in real-time.
Using the figures on the screen and your tariff, you can calculate how much energy you’ve used. If you’re on a split tariff, make sure you account for the differences between peak and off-peak periods.
When you add a smart meter to your property, it’ll help you alter your energy use for the better. In some cases, your electricity provider may agree to give you an improved tariff. At Precise Electrical, our team of electricians is here to tend to your everyday and emergency needs. Call today to speak with a member of our team.