Whether or not you currently use them, smart meters will become common place in the near future. The benefits of having a smart meter are numerous, You may be surprised that a substantial number of people either haven't heard about smart meters or know little about them. So, to help combat this, we've come up with a guide to smart meters that's mainly focused on renters.
A quick guide to smart meters
To familiarize you with smart meters and how they can impact your everyday life as a renter, please keep in mind that smart meters also benefit homeowners, which is why they will become more and more commonplace. All in all, once you consider the pros you may be surprised, if you, as a renter, didn't turn towards smart meters as soon as possible.
What are smart meters?
A smart meter or a smart sub-meter is a device that measures in detail your energy consumption, it typically reports consumption in short time intervals. Whether you use energy for cooking, heating, lighting, cleaning, or to power a device, smart meters can keep track of consumption and the time when you use energy. A sub-meter will allow you to have a clear idea of where and when your energy goes helping you to improve your energy efficiency.
How to install one
Depending on whether your building already has a submeter or not and on the complexity of the power distribution system in your building is, installation can be challenging. The right thing to do is to notify your landlord and set up an installation with them.
The benefits of smart meters
As we have mentioned, the benefits of smart meters are numerous, especially if you are a renter living with a roommate. To list just some of them:
- Remembering to take meter readings and submitting them to your supplier will be a thing of the past
- You will pay exactly for what you use, and will neither subsidize large consumers, nor you will be subsidized for wasting energy
- You won't have to deal with estimates of your spending but will actually pay for the energy you've used
- Real-time information on the amount of energy that you've used and how much it will cost you
- You will have information on how your energy is distributed and where you can save
How can renters benefit from using smart meters?
For a renter, a smart meter can be a terrific way to save money. First off, you will know where your energy goes. While this might not seem like a big deal, trust us, it is. Most people waste energy without even realizing that they are doing so. Therefore, by installing a smart meter, not only will you see where you spend most of your energy but, more importantly, where and when you are wasting it. Knowing this will allow you to alter your habits and save money.
Another key factor to consider is that a significant number of renters live with roommates. And, as most of them can verify, splitting the energy bills can be tricky. After all, not all of us have the same habits, which is why we usually don't have the same energy expenditure. Well, with a smart meter, you can easily track who has spent energy and when. This will make splitting the bill much fairer, as you will have an impartial judge telling you how much your lifestyle actually costs. This can also work towards lowering your overall energy costs, as most people are unaware of how much they spend.
Finally, when it comes to dealing with the landlord, smart meters can prove to be quite useful too. They can alert you about potential issues with home infrastructure like poor insulation or inefficient equipment. Knowing this can help you persuade your landlord to apply the necessary improvement to make your life cheaper and more comfortable.
As a renter you should know that Sub-metered properties attract better tenants, and because you will pay for your own utilities, you will find a better rent deal.
What happens with smart meters when you move?
Once you move to a different apartment, the smart meter stays where it is. It will help you settle your final bill with your landlord, as you won't have to wait until the end of the month to tally up your expenses. While movers can handle the transfer to your new address, they cannot relocate your smart meter. It stays put. If it is not there, it is usually a good idea to install a smart meter into your new apartment before moving in. That way, you will be able to keep track of your energy use from the get-go.
While our guide to smart meters focuses primarily on renters, you can probably make out that it is also quite useful for landlords. The more you are aware of your everyday energy use and its cost, the easier it will be to make the necessary changes. So, even if you lack a connection to a smart grid, we would advise you to stay ahead of the curve and install one now.