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Last edited 26 Apr 2020
The word ‘meter’ can denote the US spelling of ‘metre’, the base unit of length in the International System of Units. However, in the UK it more commonly refers to devices that can be used to measure the quantity of a resource that passes through a point. For example, an electricity meter might measure the amount of electricity that enters a property, or part of a property, over a defined period, and this can be used to assess consumption and calculate bills. Meters are also commonly installed to record consumption of water and gas.
Smart meters provide real-time information on usage and cost information allowing consumers to manage their usage, save money and reduce carbon emissions. Smart meters also allow for easier switching between suppliers, end estimated billing and eliminate the need for meter readers to visit premises.
The word 'meter' may also be used more widely to refer to devices that record quantities at a specific point, such as a moisture meter, commonly used to detect damp in the fabric of buildings, or a light meter, conductivity meter and so on.
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