British Gas Smart Meter – An Update

If you are regular readers of my blog you will know that we had a British Gas Smart Meter fitted back in August.

Thanks to smart meters, previously undetected energy waste becomes suddenly visible. British Gas believe that by encouraging customers to use smart energy monitors to gain a deeper understanding of energy usage, they can help them make small changes and see a difference on energy bills.  Whether it be through the adoption of eco-friendly sustainable living, or a more efficient way of managing energy usage, British Gas is in full support of this. 

How have we changed our habits?

I am forever checking my Energy Monitor to see what we are using.  I like the fact I can choose to view by electricity, gas or both combined and it can show you what you are using in £’s as well as kilowatts.

Britsih Gas

I have set my monitor to give us a challenging budget so it also displays what percentage of my daily budget I have used so far when I check it.

When we first got it our energy usage was fairly low as it was summer, but now the weather has turned and the evenings drawn in we have noticed it is more challenging keeping within our target but the following has really helped us keep within our targets.

  • Switch everything off at the plug when it is not in use (apart from the TV as can’t reach and WHY can you only have it on standby these days and no proper “off” button)
  • Don’t leave mobile phone chargers plugged in when not in use
  • Teens are no longer allowed the TV on when playing console games, I mean how can you concentrate on both anyway?
  • Set the tumble drier for a shorter time and don’t overfill it
  • Ensure the washing machine and dishwasher are only run with a full load
  • Nag, nag, nag the kids to turn the lights off when they leave the room and open the curtains rather than switch the light on!
  • Changed our light bulbs to energy saving ones and the spots in the kitchen and bathroom to LED’s
  • Put on an extra jumper rather than pump the heating up – to be fair it hasn’t been that cold and we have only had the heating on a couple of times!
  • Put lids on the saucepans when boiling veg – it actually take half the time to cook so saves loads of energy!
  • Only put enough water in the kettle for what I need to use and I make a pot of tea in the morning, so I am not boiling the kettle twice
  • Sweep our floors rather than hoover daily.  We move the furniture once a week and hoover then
Please ignore the dust!

Us adults and the teens tend to have showers rather than baths anyway, but bathtime for the kids is a bedtime routine so I won’t change that – although the bath has been less full recently.

In all honesty, I haven’t heard the alarm go off on the Energy Monitor for a couple of weeks, so we must be doing something right and are keeping within our set targets.  How we will fair when the heating goes on properly we will have to wait and see.  I have always been brought up to believe that keeping the heating on low is cheaper than having it come on and off throughout the day so I am keen to test the theory.

British Gas are also running a partnership with blogging network Mumsnet and have built a smart meters microsite. To enrich the conversation on this energy revolution, they also have active threads challenging five smart meters testers around their energy habits. You can read more about their journey here.
Check out this infographic for some surprising statistics from British Gas

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For more information on SmartMeters see this YouTube video below or you can read more on

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25 thoughts on “British Gas Smart Meter – An Update”

  1. Am loving the sweeping the floor point – I HATE vacuuming, and that’s a good excuse not to do it – one I hadn’t actually come up with b4! Cheers for the tips xx

  2. Great tips Kara. We have electic meters in most of our properties and it’s amazing how energy efficient those properties become when people are conscious of having to put £1 coins in to it. So easy to forget to be economical when it’s all on a monthly direct debit.

  3. Interesting – I could imagine me constantly checking a meter like that too! My saucepans don’t have lids- think I can use this as an excuse to buy some new ones? looks hopeful

  4. Great tips! We got something similar through from Scottish Gas, but it only monitors our electricity use and it would be helpful to see our gas usage now the heating is on regularly. The only problem I have with mine is that it’s turned me into a bit of an obsessive! I’m forever looking at it, comparing figures from previous days, and then I start to take it to extremes (like wavering to experiment to see if boiling a pan on the stove is much more/less expensive than boiling the kettle!!!)

  5. My husband is THE worst for blasting the heating for a short time instead of putting on a jumper. The worst. I like some of the other tips though and will take them into account.

    I cannot believe your bill was only £39 Aly!!!

  6. Oh this brings back memories of living at home. My dad (an accountant) would know exactly what was plugged in by what the reading was on the meter. So he’d ask me before I left the house if I’d switched everything off, I’d lie and say yes, he’d look at the meter and say, you’ve got your charger and your hairdryer still plugged in. Dammit. But now I live on my own, I would love one, my Hubby is a nightmare for putting lights on when it’s not dark, leaving them on when he’s not in the room! I’ve turned into my dad!

  7. OMG £39! No way.
    We tried keeping the heating on low and it went up loads. We find you are more likely to try and keep/get yourself warm (extra layers) if the heating doesn’t automatically come on. Well done so far and good luck staying in your target.

  8. I admit we (well I) do most of these things already. Persuading Hubbie to unplug his electronics once they’ve charged is an ongoing battle that will result in only one of us making it out alive !! I actually had a go at him this morning for overfilling the kettle – I am such a green ogre aren’t I ?
    We have a meter too and when we first got it I used to watch it go up when I boiled the kettle or had the washing machine on. Now it’s hidden behind the radio in the kitchen so I don’t feel guilty for making a tea.

  9. Informative post. You’re so right in your topic. using a smart meter will definitely help save a good amount of cost to set aside every month because this new tool is designed according to modern tech. Compare to old-aged meters, upgraded meters assures automatic reading and detect any discrepancies.


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