Advice 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 which shows
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 – and in some cases,
it’s not yet possible to fit one. However, it might mean you’re not eligible for all the deals on
offer, like cheaper tariffs.

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.
Smart meters send daily meter readings to your supplier, meaning they can bill you
accurately. This won’t automatically save you money, but it can help you keep track of how
much energy you’re using so you can try to reduce it.

The Citizens Advice consumer helpline (03454 04 05 06) can give advice on smart meter
Free, confidential advice and help is available from South Lakes Citizens Advice on
any aspect of debt, consumer problems, benefits, housing, employment or any
other problems. We can give detailed advice over the phone – telephone 03444 111
444. For email see our website: . We have various
outlets across South Lakeland if an appointment is required. For Money Advice and
for on-going enquiries please call 015394 46464.