HeraldScotland:

Scotland’s private and social landlords are being urged to pave the way for a smarter, more efficient energy system by encouraging their tenants to have smart meters fitted in their homes.

Fitted by energy suppliers at no extra cost, smart meters are part of a modernisation of our energy system which provide householders with near real time information so they can reduce their energy use around the home.

However, smart meters bring so much more than personal benefits – they are essential building blocks in the creation of a modern smart energy system which will help Great Britain transition to a lower carbon future.

And there is a role for Scotland’s 260,000 landlords, hundreds of letting agents and managers of the 595,881 social sector housing units to help make that happen.

Private landlords or letting agents who are the account holders for energy bills on their property can ask their energy supplier for a smart meter to be installed.

HeraldScotland:

Tenants who are the energy account holders should contact their energy supplier directly to ask for a smart meter. Smart meters can remove the hassle of working out how much is owed when they move out of a property and will also help when dividing bills amongst flatmates.

However, some tenants are hesitant to request a smart meter fitting as they think it is the landlord or letting agent’s responsibility. Therefore, it’s a good idea to let your tenants know that you’re happy for them to have one fitted.

Housing associations should provide information to their tenants about the benefits of smart meters, such as the fact that tenants will always know what they are paying for their energy - with a smart meter, they get an easy-to-understand portable display that shows exactly what they are spending in near real time. More transparency around energy usage and costs will help people avoid getting into debt with their energy supplier. The display also shows exactly how much gas and electricity is being used, so tenants will be able to make informed decisions about what appliances might be more costly to use and where they can save both energy and money.

Smart meters are a vital investment in the energy infrastructure of Scotland, England and Wales, delivering benefits beyond personal energy savings. And with over 14.9 million already installed across Great Britain, many letting agents, landlords, housing associations and tenants are already playing their part in helping to create a more sustainable energy system for the future.

Getting a smart meter: FAQs

I’m a landlord or letting agent, can I arrange a smart meter installation?

Whoever pays the gas and electricity bills can ask for a smart meter to be fitted. If you pay the energy bills for a tenanted property, you can arrange an installation and should speak to the tenant about an appropriate time for the installation.

If your tenant pays the bills, you may wish to provide them with information about the benefits of smart meters and let them know that you are happy for them to arrange an installation.

How can Housing Associations get involved? 

There are a number of ways in which you can help support this rollout, including

  • inform tenants about smart meters through your customer facing staff
  • include information in your regular customer communications
  • work with energy suppliers to request the installation of smart meters when a property becomes void

Who installs the smart meter?

A qualified installer sent by your energy supplier will fit your new smart meter at the time agreed when arranging your installation. They will show you a photo ID card before they start and they will never request or accept financial payment.

This article was paid for by Smart Energy GB. Smart Energy GB is a government backed organisation tasked with informing Great Britain about the benefits of the smart meter rollout.