Why not having a smart meter could cause your energy bills to rocket

The climate change minister warns against refusing a smart meter

If you recently chose to refuse a smart meter being installed in your home, you may want to pause and think it through as your decision could cause your energy bills to rocket.

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The climate change minister has warned that if you refuse a smart meter it could cause your energy bills to soar. The warning came from Lord Duncan of Springbank, speaking to the industrial strategy committee.

He told the committee that households not using smart meters will probably face bigger bills as the cost of maintaining traditional meters are likely to increase.

smart meter and flower vase

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

The government's current target is that by 2024, 85 per cent of homes in the UK will have a smart meter installed. As the majority of customers switch to the new technology, it will become more expensive for energy providers to carry out manual readings.

'Once you get to the point of moving down from 15 per cent to 10 per cent to nine per cent [still using the old meter system] and so forth, the expense of maintaining these relic meters will be very high,' said Lord Duncan of Springbank, Minister for Climate Change.

Smart meters replace a normal gas or electricity meter and monitor usage in real-time and send up to date readings to your supplier. It has been estimated that you could already be saving £250 a year by having a smart meter installed.

kitchen with hob kitchen storage unit and kitchen accessories

(Image credit: Ti-Media)

However, there have been delays in the roll-out of smart meters, which was pushed back from 2020 to 2024. So far the devices have been installed in 16.6 million homes.

Although there has been a big smart meter push, homeowners have the option to refuse a smart meter. Some homeowners have been reluctant to jump on the smart meter wagon due to glitches with the devices.

Despite the possibility of savings, potential customers have been put off by issues such as displays not working and devices going dumb. However, the issues should be fixed by 2020.

Related: Want lower energy bills? These simple energy-saving tips can make BIG household savings

So if you are looking to keep a closer eye on your energy usage and avoid your energy bills soaring, it might worth enquiring with your energy supplier about having a smart meter.

Rebecca Knight
Deputy Editor, Digital

Rebecca Knight has been the Deputy Editor on the Ideal Home Website since 2022. She graduated with a Masters degree in magazine journalism from City, University of London in 2018, before starting her journalism career as a staff writer on women's weekly magazines. She fell into the world of homes and interiors after joining the Ideal Home website team in 2019 as a Digital Writer. In 2020 she moved into position of Homes News Editor working across Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc and Ideal Home covering everything from the latest viral cleaning hack to the next big interior trend.