Why is this important?
Energy monitors and smart meters
If you want to save money on your energy bills, there is a range of things you can do. One option is to keep track of how much gas and electricity you use with an energy monitor or smart meter.
This page explains how you could save money by using an energy monitor or smart meter.
Top tipsEnergy monitors can tell you how much energy you are using. Smart meters take this one step further and tell your supplier how much energy you are using. This means no more estimated bills.
What is the different between an energy monitor and a smart meter?
An energy monitor is a small gadget that estimates in real time how much energy you're using, so you can see where to cut back. It clips on to your cables by your meter and you can install it yourself.
A smart meter also provides you with information about how much energy you’re using. However, it also communicates with your gas or electricity supplier to tell them how much energy you are using. This means no more estimated bills.
A smart meter replaces your standard meter and usually comes with a separate display monitor that looks like an energy monitor. It needs to be installed by your gas or electricity supplier.
How can an energy monitor or smart meter save money?
An energy monitor or smart meter on its own won’t save money. However, by showing you how much energy you use at different times and for different tasks, they can make you more aware of your consumption. This may help you to see opportunities to use less energy and save money.
This means watching out for appliances that are being left on unnecessarily, turning things off standby and making sure all appliances are working as efficiently as possible.
How can I get an energy monitor or smart meter?
Some gas and electricity suppliers give energy monitors away free. Check with your supplier to find out if they can provide you with one. Otherwise, energy monitors are available for around £40 from many high street shops which sell electricity goods.
The government wants all households to have a smart meter by 2020. Some energy suppliers have already begun installing smart meters and are offering some existing customers with old meters the opportunity to have a smart meter installed.
If you want a smart meter, you should contact your energy supplier to make your request. The timescale for you getting a smart meter will depend on your supplier’s plans for the roll-out.
- For more ideas on what you can do to save money on energy bills, see Saving money on energy bills.
- If you need more help
More information about energy monitors and smart meters
- For more information on energy monitors and smart meters, and how they differ, see the Which? guide to smart meters and energy monitors
- For help choosing the right energy monitor for you, see the Which? Energy monitor reviews