When is an Electricity Smart Meter not a Smart Choice?

Answer : When the smart meter contracts on offer don’t make it worth my while to change

Today electrical energy Smart Meters are being rolled out across Ireland, and as the strong marketing campaign suggests, promises customers the power to understand and control their own energy use behaviour. And while this is absolutely a change for the better what is less clear right now is understanding whether it is worthwhile financially to change over to a  Smart Meter, given the myriad of smart metering plans that are available in the market place right now, estimated to be in the order of 25 different plans.

And so it was considered a useful exercise,  as I had easily available Time of Use(TOU)  energy data from a recently deployed NoveseeTM sensor array (EAaaS Live Demo) on my home – to allow me to  do a direct plan cost comparison against all 25 available plans. And answer the question is worth my while to move to a smart meter  right now?

Oct 2022 Monthly Cost Comparison* (incld VAT and Rural Std Charges)

  • Day/Night Meter Current Cost on Current Tariff 
  • Cheapest Smart Tariff Compare Cost
  • Most Expensive Smart Tariff Compare 
  • Median Smart Tariff Compare Cost


€378 (+5%)

€504  (+41%)

€408     (+14%)   

*Energy data use case is taken from the house which is a 220 sq meter bungalow, operating a Day/Night meter, running with a fully electric car, requiring charging every second night

As you can see the result was quite catagoric. NONE of the 25 Smart Meter plans offer me an improvement on my energy costs by moving to a Smart Meter.

And while this is only one use case and may not therefore be fully representative, the fact that none of the existing smart metering tariffs offered an improvement over my current Day/Night meter arrangement suggests that the smart metering tariff market is not yet competitive  enough. And so for now it is a case of “Caveat Emptor” when deciding to switch over to a Smart Meter contract. And if you have an electric car, my current advice would be to go to a day/night meter for optimum cost saving.

Utility companies will no doubt change their smart metering tariff pricing over time to make them more competitive, and that will better incentivise people to change their user behaviour. But in the interim it is important to keep people onside and not to lose trust in the emerging technology in the short term that will bring us all big benefits in the longer term.

For more help and advice on switching contact Niall.Brady@Novocertus.com