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Help the sector understand the benefits of smart meters

15th October 2021

As energy costs continue to rise, agents and their landlords need to understand more about the benefits of smart meters to support tenants and encourage their installation, says safeagent.

Our call comes ahead of the first Smart Meter Awareness Week (18-22 October), which aims to help landlords, letting agents and tenants understand the benefits of smart meters and remove the barriers to their installation.

Research from Smart Energy GB shows that tenants in the PRS are more likely to want smart meters when compared to other groups, but they are less likely to get them installed. This could be for a number of reasons but is often due to confusion around who’s responsible for installation. In fact, it is the right of the bill payer (i.e., the tenant), but some tenancy agreements have clauses preventing smart meter installation without the landlord’s consent.

safeagent is calling on letting agents to learn about the many benefits of smart meters in order to support tenants to have them installed. Smart meters can help save them money by showing how much energy is being used in real time as well as helping them to save energy and keep on top of bills.

Crucially, if tenants on lower incomes have a prepay meter, installing a smart meter removes the need for prepay to be more expensive than other tariffs. Traditionally, if a tenant fell into debt with a traditional analogue meter, their energy supplier could charge to install a new analogue prepayment meter in their home. However, with smart meters, customers can be switched from credit to prepayment mode without the cost of a new meter being added to their existing debt. Smart meters also enable tenants to have more choice and ease of how they top up – online, with an app, on the phone, or via text message, without having to go to a shop.

Commenting, Isobel Thomson, safeagent Chief Executive, said:

“With the rising cost of energy, installing a smart meter is a simple way for tenants to see exactly what they are spending and keep on top of their bills. With some tenants in the sector feeling the pinch, smart meters are another way to help budget. Letting Agents can play their part by explaining the many benefits of smart meters and supporting tenants by showing them how simple it is to have a smart meter installed.”

More information for letting agents can be found here

Further information on smart meters and their benefits:

  • Smart meters are underpinning the transition to a greener, more reliable energy system.
  • Consumers can opt for electric vehicles, heating systems and smart appliances, such as washing machines and dishwashers, that can connect to the smart metering system to access pricing data. Activity can be programmed to automatically take advantage of cheaper rates, reduce the impact on the energy grid and save consumers money.
  • Engineers will know much faster when power cuts have occurred and will have better information about what caused them. This will enable them to conduct quicker and cheaper repairs and reduce the risk of similar problems occurring in the future.
  • Smart meters are also helping to reduce reliance on imported fossil fuels. Innovative smart tariffs allow consumers to save money by using energy away from peak times or when there is excess clean electricity available.
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