My Benefits: Manage your energy bills


Smart metering and smart grids would not be developed in Europe without good reason. Here are the three main ways in which smart metering and grids can benefit you and your community.

MANAGE your energy consumption and bills

Smart meters connected to a smart grid enable a range of ways to manage your energy consumption and save money along the way.

Smart meters, when connected to online tools, a display in your home, or an app, have been shown to save people an average of 10% on their energy usage.

Below are some of the ways in which smart metering and grids enable all this, as well as your participation in the energy market.

1. Helping you better monitor your energy consumption

The information on your energy use coming from your smart meter can be used to offer you a wide range of ways to receive regular updates on your real (i.e. not estimated) energy use. Different energy suppliers or innovative energy service companies can offer you options such as:

  • An electronic display in your house
  • Online access to consumption data
  • Paper overviews of your consumption patterns
  • Alerts or apps for your smart phone or tablet
  • Tips and tricks on how to save more energy.

The closer to real-time the information is, the better you can manage your energy use since you will know how much energy you are using and when.

2. Accurate bills

Unlike traditional meters, smart meters allow you to receive accurate bills more regularly. This means bills based on the energy you have actually used, not what your energy supplier predicts you will use. Some European countries have opted to send you accurate bills once every two months, others every month.

As well as being fairer for you, this also allows you to better monitor and adjust your energy use to suit your budget.

3. Using energy when it is least expensive

Currently, with a traditional analogue meter, you only have up to two prices or ‘tariff’ choices:

  • ‘Daytime’ – more expensive as demand is higher
  • ‘Night time’ – cheaper as demand is lower.

Smart meters give your energy grid operator a better picture of your patterns of energy use, allowing them to quickly offer you a much wider range of tariff options and even ideas on how to save more energy.

This new range of prices for using energy at different times of the day and week are known as ‘multiple time of use tariffs’. These tariffs are higher when there’s a bigger demand for electricity, and vice-versa.

The ’off-peak’ periods with lower prices give you the opportunity to benefit from using electricity when it is cheaper.

For example, a typical peak period for electricity demand is when many people arrive home from work and put their lights, microwaves and TVs on. If you wait until a few hours later to do your laundry during an ‘off-peak’ period, you will be charged less for the electricity you use and so make savings on your electricity bill.

This means that when you use energy is becoming just as important as how much you use.

4. Better integrating your energy into the grid

If you have your own solar panels or wind turbines, a smart meter connected to a smart grid means you can make better use of them.

The regular information from your smart meter allows you to choose exactly when it is most beneficial for you to:

  • Feed your electricity back into the grid
  • Use it yourself.
In the near future, energy companies may offer you Home Energy Management Systems. These systems are capable of combining many relevant types of information that will help you to better manage your energy, for example, tariffs, your switchable appliances, home electricity production, and energy sales prices. This will allow you to make maximum reductions on your energy costs and could even allow you to make energy earnings.

5. Easy control, remotely

A smart meter means you can more easily, quickly and remotely:

  • Have your meter read without needing to be home to let the meter reader in
  • Change or modify your subscriptions and tariff plans
  • Switch from one supplier to another
  • Check your energy use on your mobile phone or webpage (where available)
  • Get reconnected when you change address or after a power outage.

This not only saves you time, but also puts you fully in control of all your energy choices from wherever you choose via the internet, your smartphone or tablet.