How smart meters enable a more energy-efficient future

How smart meters enable a more energy-efficient future

As renewable energy becomes cheaper and more prevalent, your smart meter could be the hub of your new energy-efficient home. Let’s find out more.

If you’ve got a smart meter in your home, you’re already aware of how it makes it easy to monitor how much energy you use in real-time. Smart meters keep track of how much gas and electricity you consume at any given moment and display it to you in an easy-to-read style. Perhaps it’s even got you thinking about how you can reduce your energy consumption and save money on your bills.

However, being able to see your energy usage is just the start of the benefits your smart meter can bring. Renewable energy technology is advancing rapidly, opening up possibilities to run your home in a much more energy-efficient way. Your smart meter will be the hub of your new, cleaner, greener home.

In this article, we’ll look at the new renewable future on the horizon and how smart meters make it possible. There’s a bright future ahead, so if you don’t have your smart meter yet, there’s never been a better time to get started.

Renewable transformation

A report by Smart Energy GB called The Future Smart Energy Consumer lays out how smart meters will be the centre of the UK’s energy transformation. The research predicts that over the next 15 years, the UK has the potential to move to a system where consumers use smart meters to manage their energy consumption rather than just monitor it.

Smart meters become the hub of a home ‘grid’ that manages itself, bringing in renewable energy when the cost is lowest, storing it for future use, while selling excess power back to the national or regional grid when demand is at its highest.

When your home grid is functioning optimally, you’ll plug in your electric car, which will automatically charge up for the lowest cost. The energy that powers your oven, TV and other devices will come from solar panels on your roof (created when the sun is shining but stored until you need it). Then, if there’s any energy left over, you can sell it back to the grid. Your smart meter controls it all, keeping you informed at every stage of the process.

Improving technology

Part of these new predicted capabilities come from advances in smart meter technology. Currently, your smart meter only gives you a real-time picture of the total power you’re using in your home. This is useful to help you use less energy, but it could be more helpful.

In the near future, your smart meter will be able to display which individual appliances in your home are consuming energy and how much. This means you can pinpoint how you save energy. If your tariff allows you to save money during times of low demand, you may choose to run your tumble dryer in the off-peak period, for example.

However, the impact really comes when you can automate these energy shifts, so you don’t have to be constantly monitoring your smart meter. For this, you need high-capacity battery storage in your home.


The biggest impact on energy efficiency comes when high-capacity battery storage becomes more common in the UK. Consumers can purchase individual battery packs or use the battery pack in an electric vehicle . Batteries work together with smart meters to buy energy from the national grid at the lowest possible price, storing the power so the consumer can use it whenever they want. The higher the capacity of your battery, the more flexibility you can have with prices.

You can also use your battery to take your energy efficiency to a new level. If you have solar panels on your roof, you can create and store your own energy with your smart meter running the operation as a domestic grid. You can sell excess power back to a local or regional grid, which could make installing the infrastructure more financially viable.

Whichever option you choose, it’s your smart meter that makes it happen.

Smart meters and smart devices

As well as installing smart meters, more and more consumers in the UK have bought AI-powered smart devices for their homes, including Alexa, Siri and Google Home devices. In the next ten years, we should be able to get our smart meters and AI devices to work together.

Once your smart devices make the connection, your AI device will be able to monitor your energy consumption and your battery capacity, making sure you always have enough power. It can also watch the energy markets to ensure you get your energy at the cheapest rate and sell the right amount back to the grid for the highest income. The best thing about this is that it will all be automated. You don’t need to do anything!

A bright future

Advances in smart meter and energy storage technology mean it will be relatively simple to create domestic grids which save consumers money and energy. This will be extremely important as the UK aims to switch to renewable energy, achieve carbon net-zero and combat climate change.

However, there is still much more work to do – and energy companies need to play their part:

  • Suppliers need to encourage customers to use their smart meters and use only renewable energy by offering lower tariffs
  • Energy companies and the government need to do more to encourage consumers to get smart meters in their homes. There are still too many people who are reluctant to make the switch
  • Energy firms need to show consumers the benefits of having a smart meter and the bright future ahead

With more smart meters and engaged users, a cleaner, greener future is not too far away.

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