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Energy and heating can now be managed easily to aid saving money and reducing usage. But what do they actually do?
Smart meters are new forms of gas and electricity meters which can digitally and automatically send meter readings to your energy supplier. A government scheme to bring the UK energy industry up to date will require all suppliers to offer smart meters to many of their customers by 2020.
If you’re wondering how smart meters can benefit users, they provide more accurate energy bills as they take regular and more accurate meter readings. So you won’t be overcharged or in credit with your supplier.
Smart Meters can offer an insight into energy use behaviour, giving you the opportunity to reduce energy usage and off-peak times of the day. This can all be viewed on the real-time monitor that is supplied to you. From here, you can also take further action in replacing out of date, high energy consuming electricals with new, energy saving devices. Being able to understand your usage shows where you can start to save money.
So if you turn a few appliances off stand by and lose a degree or two on your heating, you’ll see the difference it makes and the savings made.
With a smart thermostat installed you can remotely control the heating and hot water of your house or premises via your phone, tablet or computer.
If you opt in and choose to install a smart thermostat you will have a few devices dotted around which have specific purposes. One device plugs directly into your boiler which wirelessly talks to a second device. The second device acts as the thermostat and the main control which too can be used to control the temperature. Your third device, well that’s the device which you can use to control your smart thermostat, it can be your smartphone, tablet or laptop.
Some smart thermostats are incredibly clever, they can learn your schedule by detecting when you’re in, they are also likely to know when you’re on your way over so they will get your heating on and they can use the internet to scan weather reports to adjust and manage the temperature of the property.
Popular brands of smart thermostats are Hive from British Gas, Scottish Power Connect from Scottish Power, Tado, Owl and Nest.
Should you make your property smart?
If you’d like to make your property smart you can make an easy start by requesting a smart meter, they are usually free and so is installation, so you won’t have to worry about covering your costs.
However, smart Thermostats do come with a cost but one supplier claims that their smart thermostat pays for itself in the first year, saving 31% off heating bills. Popular brands can cost around £200 for the devices. Installation by a professional is recommended, this can cost around £50 extra.
Both devices can be extremely effective. If utilised correctly, the information provided gives a real-time view of the energy that is being consumed by the business. Understanding unnecessary energy usage and turning off appliances that are not being used will always reduce energy spend, however, visually noticing the reductions on your device will make a huge difference to your perception.
Understanding consumption during off-peak times is just as useful as when the premises is at its most active. This is really where you do start to understand where savings can be made.
If you’re unsure which to choose, we would recommend starting with a smart meter that can usually be supplied by the energy company you use. If this proves useful and you start to understand your consumption more in depth, then a smart thermostat will be an investment for you.
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