Smart meter owners ‘have saved £270m on their energy bills during lockdown’

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SMART meter owners reckon they have saved almost £270million over lockdown – on energy consumption alone.

A study of 2,000 adults with a smart meter found they each estimated a reduction in energy payments of £39.50 since March 23.

This equates to £268.6million in total across the one in four UK households with smart meters.

Smart meters replace your normal gas or electricity meter and monitors your usage in real time by sending up to date readings to your supplier.

We previously reported how not having one of the devices installed could already be costing you £250 a year.

In addition, the study of both PAYG and direct debit smart meter owners found 56 per cent are adopting many other money saving methods to get through the current financial crisis.

Savvy savers are opting to boil a kettle with just enough water for the drinks they want to make as well as unloading the car before driving to save money.

Others are doing household repairs themselves, upcycling furniture instead of buying new, and batch cooking for the week ahead.

And a third keep a close eye on their bank balance, monitoring spends as they go along.

The study also found air drying clothes (34 per cent), doing one big shop to last the week (28 per cent) and growing fruit and vegetables (25 per cent) are other ways adults are clever with their cash.

Buying items such as toilet rolls in bulk, ignoring expiration dates on food where possible and making cards and presents have also seen a reduction in household bills.

While others are opting to patch jeans, re-sole shoes and hand-down clothes – rather than buying new all of the time.

More than six in 10 (62 per cent) of the UK’s smart meter owners check their In-Home Display at least once a week, with 32 per cent looking at least once a day.

More than half (54 per cent) use the budgeting function on the In-Home Display too.  

Getting the kids involved with energy was also popular, with 32 per cent saying they would encourage the rest of the family to keep an eye on energy usage via the In-Home Display.

It also emerged that 51 per cent of money conscious spenders said it is important to know where money is going, and 31 per cent believe lockdown has offered more ways to be mindful with money.

And three in 10 adults think they have become more resourceful in recent months while the same percentage has kept a closer eye on things like bills lately.

The methods have paid off though, as 63 per cent of those polled via OnePoll believe they have saved more money during lockdown than they thought possible.

One third of respondents attribute their savviness to owning a smart meter, while four in 10 said it helps to have banking apps on their mobile devices.

Having a budget spreadsheet has helped 23 per cent plan their finances.

Other smart devices such as plugs, thermostats and energy-saving lightbulbs have also enabled owners to keep a tight rein on what they are spending.

Given the savings, it is understandable that more than half of smart meter owners feel having one has given them much better control of their energy usage, while 27 per cent have reduced the amount of energy they waste.

Bill Bullen, founder and CEO of Utilita, said: “One thing which is clear from this research is that the majority of smart meter owners are both frugal with their money and smart with their spending, having adopted a number of methods to save cash.

“These simple tricks mean owners can have a little more disposable income to enjoy.

“Owning a smart meter and In-Home Display enables households to monitor their energy spend, which gives users more control over their finances.”

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