Fraction of homes with smart meters are using them correctly

Fraction of homes with smart meters are using them correctly
Energy costs, © PA Wire/PA Images

Just under 38,000 electricity smart meter customers are using them to save money.

That's according to a new report based on almost a million users.

As energy prices continue to hike and fears loom over shortages, the use of smart meters seems all the more important.

However, a new report from the Irish Independent suggests just 4 per cent of meters are being used correctly.


Of the 930,000 installed in homes and businesses, 37,900 have signed up to use for the use of tariffs.

The tariffs encourage the use of appliances in off-peak times, which in turn helps with the strain on demand.

The government has spent 1.2 billion euros on the scheme over the last three years.

The Commission for Regulation of Utilities has asked suppliers to be more transparent with customers on how they work.


Aoife Foley, professor in energy systems engineering at Queen's University Belfast, says most users are missing one step.

"There us another step that you need to do.

"Contact your retailer and update them of your situation.

"You need to inform them of the fact that you have had ESB into your home or commercial premises and that you would like to avail of the smart metering tariffs."


She says using the meters helps the grid run smoothly.

"There is nearly two million meter boxes in Ireland in residential homes.

"If every turned on their tumble dryer at the same time, at the peak hour, that is a significant drain on the distribution network.

"What will happen is, that will give us a bit of a speed wobble."

"Because we have an issue with capacity, that is where e are going to run into difficulties."

Karen Trant is Director at the Commission for Regulation of Utilities she is encouraging people to use them properly and sign up to smart plans.

"There is quite a few of those smart meters out there.

"What we want now is for people to engage with the smart services that accompanies a smart meter.

"You can have a smart meter in the property and do nothing but the optimum is to engage with your supplier and to look for the smart services and the smart tariffs."