The changeover of electric meters, replacing them with a smart version is still under way in Spain. Since the hourly electricity tariff came into force in October 2015, the importance of this device continues to grow. Now, as consumers, what advantages does this device have? Do you save on the electric bill? If so, how?
Here are three reasons why you should have a smart electricity meter.
Reason 1. Pay for what you really consume.
The main reason why the smart electricity meter should already be installed in your home is that it is more accurate. This type of meter arrived on the market as a response to the hourly electricity tariff, and among its advantages is being able to know how much is consumed at any time.
In addition, the fact that the data is being sent to the electric company makes it possible to achieve the first major benefit: the company will have real data on the electricity used. While this may sound like an electricity Big Brother, it actually means that the bills that will be received will be real, eliminating those over-estimated bills that unbalanced the household budget every two months.
Since the bills are finalised a few days before the end of the month and the consumption figures are transmitted by the distributor several days in advance, the last few days are estimated. To ensure that this does not increase the bill disproportionately, some companies notify their customers by email of how much the bill will be by the end of the month, if the customer continues with the same consumption behaviour. So if it is detected that the figures do not match, all one needs to do is send the current reading to the company at that moment. Based on this, the company will adjust the invoice in accordance with the actual usage.
Reason 2. Learn from your consumption behaviour and save.
Since the intelligent electric meter records the consumption of electricity constantly, this device can give a lot of information on how to save at the end of the month. To do so, you just have to register in the customer area of the electricity company’s website to gain access to the data collected by the company.
In this way, if you see that the highest consumption is made at night and you have a fixed rate, you can request the change to a rate with time discrimination. Simply by doing this, the bill at the end of the month will be cut considerably, since these rates have the advantage of offering the night rate per kilowatt-hour (kWh) at half price.
Similarly, you notice that the highest peaks of consumption are in the morning, you have two options: change habits, if possible, to find the cheapest hours or look for a company that provides a flexible rate. Although I tell you now that there are few options available in this regard, as usual, the big companies always have some ace up their sleeve for these cases.
Reason 3. Avoid waiting for the company technician.
A final aspect is that the new smart meter allows many procedures to be carried out through the Internet. So if you want to increase the contracted power with the company, or reduce it, you can just call the company to do so directly, without having to wait for a technician to come and adjust the device.
Nor will it be necessary to write down each month the consumption on the sheet left by the distributor in the entrance hall of your apartment. Although this may be no big deal for many, it is a nuisance when it comes to second homes that are rarely visited or if you are on holiday, not to mention the confidentiality of your consumption – is no need for your neighbours to know if you have used more or less electricity this month.
In addition, the simple fact that real-time information is being sent to the company will make it possible to detect any problem more quickly; that is, if there is a technical failure, the solution will be implemented sooner.
In short, although the rental price of the smart meter is a little higher than that of the old conventional one, it gives much more value for money to the consumer. In addition, requesting the change and carrying it out is free of charge.