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Smarter Controls For Your Home

Updated on 29/10/2014

Here at Plumbcare, we’re always trying to help you make your home run more efficiently, and the latest heating technology is delivered in smarter heating controls and thermostats.

Did you know that 80 percent of our domestic energy bills are spent on gas and electric? With smart heating controls, such as Smart Meters, they don’t just let you control your heating, they also let you control the temperatures of all the rooms in your house.

Smart heating control systems all have three main components; the boiler and hot water controllers, thermostat and the ‘hub’ which connects to your broadband router.

Some have motion sensors so they can detect when there are people in the house and others have thermostatic radiator valves which can control your radiators individually. Using a smart heating control can save you up to 20% on your energy bills, which on an average bill can be about £250 a year. If you decide to opt for nest meters you can get your investments back in over a year but of course if you use a multi-room heating control this could take slightly longer to get the return on investment

It’s fair to say, a lot of people are comfortable with their traditional gas and electricity meters but realistically how long will they last? Having new Smart Meters installed into your home is a great way to save you money on your heating bills.

Another advantage to Smart Meters is that they give you extra control over your home heating. No-one likes to wake up on a cold winter morning with a slow and inefficient heating system, but with a smart heating control you can set it to heat up your home for when you’ve woken up or if you’re coming home from work. Plus, you can set your heating to be on for when you’ve gone out for the day and return to your home so it is cosy and warm when you get in. The best news of all is that this can be done through your smart phone via the internet, so if no-one is in but you left the heating on you can simply switch it off and save money.

Of course, not everyone is a smart phone user, so if you’re one of those that don’t like using smart phones, tablets or other technology, nest meters can be controlled from the wall unit – which is ideal for the elderly.

Smart Meters are still a new investment but if you are one of the first to benefit from them then you will be able to reduce your energy bills considerably. Although it’s not been made a legal requirement to have these meters installed in your home, they are becoming more popular and we’re happy to talk through the options with you at Plumbcare

7/10/2014

The Old Electric & Gas Meter to Be No More!

Technological advances are creating new ways for households to save money on their bills and become more eco-friendly residents. General consumers are going to need all the help they can get as energy prices are predicted to soar by 60% over the next six years.

As you make use of your household appliances, it’s often forgotten that there are those little boxes somewhere in your house ticking away and clocking your gas and electrical usage. However these boxes are soon to be a thing of the past. Before 2020 the new ‘Smart Meter’ will be introduced to homeowners and integrated into households – replacing the traditional gas and electricity reading meters previously used.

What is a smart meter?

Well let’s start by understanding what our current systems are. At present most homes will have a gas meter that monitors how much gas a household utilises; this will be displayed in digits on the face of the meter.

Similarly, you will have an electrical meter monitoring the electricity usage within your home. This reading fluctuates in relation to how active your power related appliances are.

Normally homeowners take a reading of both their gas and electricity usage and send it off to their gas provider; however this is set to change.

So what are these Smart Meters that will soon feature in our homes? And more to the point, what cost are we to expect when a Smart Meter gets installed?

A Smart Meter compiles your gas and electricity usage, so they can both be read from the same meter box. It will feature an in-house display that connects to your Smart Meter via wifi, allowing you to view, track and monitor your usage. And taking your own readings will be a thing of the past, as the innovative Smart Meter will update and send your readings directly to the supplier.

It’s thought that not long after the Smart Meter makes its entrance to the market, apps will soon be created so that your smart phone can be used to relay real time data to you about your gas and electrics whilst you’re on the move! But fear not, if your reluctant to engage in all the latest technology, the Smart Meter can still be set up to accept pre bought tokens, link up to a direct debit or be used in a pay as you go format.

But down to the important stuff … the cost! The initial cost of £215 per meter is inclusive of the network setup and ongoing maintenance. With the price being spread over homeowners energy bills combined with the return gained from a Smart Meter, this cost equates to only a small figure – so invariably you will be getting a Smart Meter on the cheap

These Smart Meters are being rolled out by the ‘big six’ – British Gas, E.ON, EDF, Scottish Power and Southern Electrical over the coming years. These large energy suppliers are now offering schemes whereby customers can apply for a Smart Meter in advance of them coming to market, meaning you can be one of the first to house a Smart Meter. In contrast, smaller energy suppliers – like Ovo – have promised to fit you a Smart Meter once you sign up to a contract with them, again making it more attractive to have a Smart Meter in your home.

However the topical question currently being raised is whether or not the Smart Meter can save you a significant amount of money, making a noticeable difference to your bill. This is making many potential customers suspicious on whether the Smart Meter is actually a cost saving alternative, as it’s estimated that consumers will save only 2% on an average energy bill – if that’s the rate to go by, then it will take an average of over eight years to pay of the original price of a £215!

If you’re looking for instant big savings a Smart Meter will not satisfy your wants. But if you’re prepared to sit it out for the long run, you can utilise the features on your Smart Meter to alert you to costs which can be further reduced. For example if you’re wasting money away on an inefficient boiler the Smart Meter can pick up on this, allowing you to look for an alternative and find a cheaper way to run your house’s heating system. Alternatively it could flag up the high costs of your lighting, prompting you to look for more eco-friendly, energy saving bulbs.

As of yet, there is no legal requirement specifying that you have to obtain a Smart Meter, so you are well within your rights to stick with what you’ve got…..

But who knows, your bills could be reduced somewhat by embracing this new function to help you run your home, so why not give it a try? You’ve not got a lot to lose.

To find out more about smart heating controls, call us today on 0800 111 4 555 and speak to one of our friendly heating advisors or fill in our enquiry form.

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