The world is a global village and with the Internet of things, this village is about to get even smaller. Imagine living in a world where everything is interconnected. Your cellphone, coffee maker, the engine of an aero plane, your wearable gear, the light bulbs etc. are all interconnected and connected to the internet. This means that they are interoperable although they perform different functions. Experts predict that by the year 2020, there shall be more than 26 billion devices connected through the internet of things. Here is a cool fact about it before we go any further, the term ‘Internet of Things’ was actually coined by a Briton, Kevin Ashton! The British government is advancing the internet of things ideology by advocating for smart meters. So let’s explore these smart meters.
A smart meter is an electronic device which records how you consume energy in short periods, say every hour and gives back a report on the costing of the energy utilized. They are also able to send direct reports wirelessly to the supplier which helps in getting more accurate bills. The wireless communication with the energy provider is what makes the smart meter part of the internet of things. The UK government is championing efforts to have every home installed with a smart meter both for gas and electricity. It is doing this by encouraging a supplier led rollout. The main objectives the government is trying to achieve by doing this are to encourage energy efficiency and cut on carbon emissions by reducing consumption of fossil fuel generated energy.
But what’s in it for you as the consumer? By using smart meters, you will easily track your energy consumption patterns hence enabling you to easily control your consumption hence save on costs. You will also be able to switch between suppliers more easily hence take advantage of the best deals. Estimated bills will also be a thing of the past as you will be billed for what you actually use only. This will of course go a long way in avoiding nasty surprises that come with estimated bills. The safety of the smart meter product is covered by the UK and EU product safety information.
The expected timeframe for installation of smart meters all over the UK is between 2016 and 2020. Although it is not mandatory to have a smart meter, the pros outweigh the cons hence it is advisable to get yourself a smart meter!