Nine out of ten customers have managed to improve their energy usage habits thanks to smart devices
New research from British Gas reveals that despite initial skepticism, the UK public is beginning to warm up to smart energy meters.
In a survey of its smart meter customers, the company found that more than half (54 percent) are now saving money thanks to the energy-efficient behaviours inspired by these devices, with nearly two thirds (64 percent) of those surveyed saving up to £75 per year.
Overall, nine out of ten customers questioned said that they were taking simple daily steps to reduce their energy use. The company believes this comes from customers being able to see their usage via a smart meter, which displays the cost of the energy currently being used.
Noted neuroscientist Jack Lewis said of the findings, “By enabling people to see when their household energy consumption changes, via a simple traffic light system, the smart energy monitor triggers an emotional response to nudge people out of autopilot – creating mental space for them to reflect on their energy usage.”
The survey also found that more than three quarters (79 percent) of those who use their smart energy monitors say it has made them more aware of their energy consumption.
“The results show that by seeing how energy is used through the home, you can make small changes that save you money,” said Stuart Rolland, managing director of British Gas Smart Metering. “Whether it’s discovering how energy efficient the fridge is, or the cost of using the tumble dryer, we’re excited that the smart meter roll-out will make it easy for consumers to improve their energy efficiency.”
Smart meters are due to be installed as standard across Britain by 2020, following a government drive to encourage greater energy efficiency by replacing existing gas and electricity meters. Development of smart meters advanced rapidly in recent months, boosted by Google’s announcement last week that it would be moving into the space following a $3.2 billion (£2.5 billion) purchase of smart appliance maker Nest.
British Gas is looking to roll out its smart meters earlier than 2020 in order to help benefit customers, and has already installed more than a million devices in homes and business premises free of charge. The company announced earlier this week that over ten thousand homes had installed its new Hive smart thermostat since its launch last September. This can be linked to a connected app on a mobile device, allowing the user to control heating and hot water supply to their home.
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