The cost of living in the UK is rising. This is partly due to the costs incurred by the pandemic, but more so some of the itemized costs such as energy, that makes our living standard great. The rise in costs of living makes us money conscious and thereby implies less disposable income. Energy, for instance, is predicted to increase in annual cost by an average of £139 in this quarter and a further 14% in spring 2022. This implies awareness of living costs in order to have a balanced book, and how to save money on energy bills for example. More so for those socially vulnerable whose increase will be £159 and further next year it implies scrutiny in finances and hard life.
Most of us have been taking measures to save money on energy bills. Sourcing for the best energy deals online is a popular approach. How many times have you checked energy price comparison websites? How many times have you considered switching or switched energy suppliers and found it to be meaningless in your pursuit to reduce energy bills? Aside from sourcing the best energy deals, there are manual measures and routines we commit ourselves to in order to save money on energy bills; as if we are not humans, if you are fortunate enough not to forget to leave the heating system on for several hours during peak periods due to various good reasons such as falling asleep due to tiredness, emergency calls and many more. Reducing energy bills efficiently requires the capability to monitor its usage and also be able to provide amenable solutions when things get out of hand. The introduction of smart meters, smart thermostats, and smart lights provides consumers with these benefits.
You can remember the times of querying the customer service of your electricity provider because the recent bill calculation was unclear; you expected less than you have been charged. After a while, you are then asked about your current meter readings which require that you go to where the meter is and check. For some, this is always a good reason to cut the line, avoid unreasonable payment and wait for the electricity provider to send a representative to come over and check because the meter might be in the garage or in the arctic of the house. These problems of lack of awareness of electricity usage and inaccessibility of meter readings were the reasons the smart meter was introduced.
You can also remember the times you have to check the number of watts of an electric bulb when trying to buy one. Maybe it is 40 watts or 60 watts because you are conscious of energy usage in the house. Some of us are very conscious to the extent of mixing watts: “2 40 watts will do for that area of the house since we do not use them much, and let the rest be 60 watts”. Aside from energy usage some of us even have a time preference for when the lights are to be switched on or the color of lights associated with particular rooms for beauty. These are the reasons why smart light was introduced.
You can also remember the number of times when you have to check the clock for the duration to switch off the heating system and the number of times you have to switch it on and off due to temperature changes. These are the reasons why smart heating was introduced.
A smart meter is like your traditional meter but with the enhanced
the capability of sending your energy readings automatically to energy suppliers. They are digital, simple to operate, and often with just two buttons. It comes with an in-house display gadget which is small, mobile, and with a screen displaying energy readings. Therefore the readings are very accessible and the gadget can be located at any place in the house at any given time depending on your preference. The readings displayed depend if you are a dual-fuel customer or not- you can expect to receive both updated electricity and gas readings as they are being consumed if you are a dual-fuel customer or otherwise, just the electricity reading. You will also be able to see your current bill as you make use of energy on the screen. A smart thermostat is recommended but not required for a smart meter; you can have a smart meter, continue using your old thermostat and not install a smart one. It is a free gadget offered by energy providers.
A smart thermostat basically serves the same function as an ordinary thermostat of regulating the temperature of the environment but in an enhanced way with economical features. Their economical features exist to utilize energy efficiently with little expense. This implies that you can save a huge amount of money. These features vary between manufacturers, some of them include; geolocation – detection of consumers leaving or entering the house, so as to know when to switch on or off the heating system, temperature autodetection – detects the temperature if cold or hot by default or preset values and respond by switching on or off the heating system, automation – time preferences of switching on or off the heating system can be preset by consumers and detection of open windows – to avoid wasting heat energy and not heating the room timely, some have the capability of detecting open windows.
Installation of a smart thermostat appears simple via instruction manuals, but compatibility between the heating system and the smart thermostat must be matched, The heating system must also be a smart heater. Ensure compatibility before purchase.
A smart light also serves the basic function of an ordinary electric bulb but in an enhanced way with economical features. They provide light in the house but their luminosity and color can be controlled by adjusting the electric current available to them via mobile app. Hence, there is no need of purchasing different watts or colors in this case. Preferences can also be set when to switch on or off via the mobile app and this can be automatically done with the use of sensors. Lights can also be named or grouped so that they can be controlled independently via the mobile app; for instance, you can name the kitchen lights KITCHEN, and every light in KITCHEN will abide by the commands.
The common costs associated with these smart devices are the internet costs – they all make use of the internet and this cost is negligible since you have other computer devices making use of the internet in the home. The cost of purchase and installation are also costs to consider – sometimes they are interwoven and required, especially if you are not a do-it-yourself person, but you will make your money back within a few weeks by savings. Installation of smart meters is free by energy providers and installation of smart lights should be easily done by self. The most valuable thing is that you have the power in your hands to determine what you pay to energy providers which lessen your anxiety and not be cautious of energy usage every time.