MORE and more people are switching to electric vehicles, with 35 million predicted to be on UK roads by 2050, according to the National Grid’s latest Future Energy Scenarios. There are multiple reasons for their popularity – they’re good for the environment, reduce air pollution and can save you money in the long term.

And if you are a car owner, you might find yourself behind the wheel of an EV much sooner than you think. With concern rising over the health impact of air pollution from transport – the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions – the Scottish Government has a bold ambition to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans in just 12 years’ time.

Whether you’re buying an EV for money saving reasons or out of concern for the environment, or both, one crucial piece of tech you’ll need to go alongside it is a smart meter.

Fitted by your energy supplier at no extra cost, they are the next generation of energy meters, but they are also so much more than that.


Those buying an electric vehicle might assume that their carbon footprint has been dramatically reduced by their new purchase. It’s certainly an excellent start, but the electricity still has to come from somewhere, and the charging choices that consumers make will affect the environmental impact of their vehicles. This is where smart meters and smart chargers come in.

Combined with a smart meter, a smart charger will be able to use electricity when it’s cheapest and best for the energy grid and could allow customers to be rewarded for off-peak usage. Essentially, cars can be plugged in, and will then be automatically charged at the most cost-efficient and grid-efficient times.

Smart meters can also unlock smart time-of-use tariffs that reward EV owners who use energy at off-peak times.

Unlike standard electricity tariffs, where the same rate is paid at all times, a smart tariff works in conjunction with a smart meter to supply electricity at different prices, depending upon the time of day. This could mean that people could take advantage of cheaper electricity overnight, when demand is low, which is very beneficial for electric car drivers.

Smart meters are a vital investment in the energy infrastructure of Scotland, England and Wales, delivering benefits beyond personal energy savings.

And with over 13 million already installed across Great Britain, many consumers are already playing their part in helping to create a more sustainable energy system for the future.

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.


The Herald’s Climate for Change initiative supports efforts being made by the Scottish Government with key organisations and campaign partners. Throughout the year we will provide a forum in The Herald newspaper, online at and in Business HQmagazine, covering news and significant developments in this increasingly crucial area.

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