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Last edited 01 Feb 2021
Smart meter owners report higher, not lower, bills
|Having a smart meter installed at home very seldom means lower energy bills, according to new survey findings published on April 2, 2019 by electrotechnical trade body the Electrical Contractors' Association (ECA).|
In the ECA’s recent YouGov survey of adults who are eligible for a smart meter, just 1 in 14 respondents with a smart meter (7%) said that having one had reduced their energy bills, while 1 in 11 (9%) said they had increased. This is despite 1 in 4 (23%) reporting that the main reason for having a smart meter installed was to reduce their energy bills.
Overall, nearly half of respondents (47%) said they were ‘very unlikely’ to have a smart meter installed during the next 12 months, with 20% ‘fairly unlikely’ to do so. Just 5% of respondents said they were ‘very likely’ to do so, with a further 13% ‘fairly likely’ to have one installed in the next year.
 ECA comment
“Smart meters can play a role in stimulating a shift towards a lower-carbon future. However, the government needs to do far more to incentivise change and explain the benefits of using smart meters if they are to increase consumer confidence and take-up in the near future.”
While 61% of smart meter owners reported that they had ‘no issues’ with their smart meter, almost half (45%) reported they had experienced ‘no benefits’ in having one. The benefit that came out on top for respondents with a smart meter was ‘more accurate billing’ (29%), while 1 in 11 (9%) cited ‘connectivity issues’ as a problem.
Furthermore, fear of data breaches and cyber attacks came out as the top reason (30% of respondents) for not getting a smart meter, among those unlikely to do so. However, of those with a smart meter, less than 1% reported any issue with data security or hacking.
Luke Osborne added: “Public awareness of data security has increased significantly recently. These ECA findings show that the government must do more to explain to the public why smart meters do not present a security risk from hacking or other data breaches.”
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