Thursday 12th September 2019
As part of the Citizens Advice Exeter and The Express and Echo weekly advice column we focus on smart meters
My gas and electricity deal has come to an end and the energy company has offered me a new contract. However, they’re insisting I get a smart meter fitted. I’ve heard these don’t really work and I can’t see the benefit. Am I better off looking for a different supplier, or will the new company also force me to have a smart meter?
It’s always worth shopping around. Citizens Advice has a tool on its website (https://energycompare.citizensadvice.org.uk/) which can help. Our energy star ratings also look at how well suppliers perform on a range of measures, including customer service, rather than just price.
As regards the smart meter, you certainly don’t have to accept one. A supplier can’t tell you that you must have one installed. However, it might mean you’re not eligible for all the deals on offer. In future the cheaper tariffs offered by suppliers might only be available to customers with smart meters.
If you do decide to go ahead, your supplier should explain the process beforehand, show you how it works and give you a number to call if anything goes wrong.
There are benefits to smart meters; they send daily meter readings to your supplier, meaning they can bill you accurately for the energy you’ve used. They won’t automatically save you money, but you can use the digital ‘in-home’ display to keep track of how much energy you’re using and then try to reduce it.
For more information and advice go to www.citizensadvice.org.uk or call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.
Look out for our column next week when we focus on council tax.
The information contained in these articles does not constitute advice. Citizens Advice Exeter and The Express and Echo accept no liability for the information published. Citizens Advice Exeter is unable to respond to individual requests for advice through these columns. Copyright Citizens Advice. For the most up-to-date version, please visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk