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Saving energy

Getting to know your In-Home Display can help cut bills and CO2

photo of a smart meter in someone's kitchen

An In-Home Display (or IHD) is a screen which connects to your smart meters to show how much energy you're using, as you use it. Your IHD can't reduce your bills all on its own, but it's a great tool to change your energy habits at home.

There are a couple of clever things about your In-Home Display. As well as usage data, your IHD shows you how much you're spending on energy in pounds and pence. And it updates almost in real time (roughly every 10 seconds for electricity and every 30 minutes for gas).

According to Smart Energy GB, 86% of people with a smart meter said they've changed the way they do things around the house to use less energy. By making the energy you use more visible, your IHD can help you to make more conscious decisions about reducing your usage, and lowering your bills at the same time.

If you've got an IHD at home but you're not using it yet, we've written a guide on how use your In-Home Display. It includes videos to show you how to connect your IHD to Wi-Fi and how to set up the home screen to show your energy use. You can choose to show live usage data as well as your daily spend on gas and electricity.

Saving energy with your IHD

A great way to get to know your home energy a little better is to turn off your appliances and switch them back on again one at a time. Keep an eye on your IHD to work out which gadgets are the most expensive to run (remember to wait around 15 seconds for the numbers to catch up). Once you know which appliances are particularly energy-hungry, you can think about using them differently, or even upgrading them to a more energy-efficient model, which could save you some money in the long term.

It's a good idea to put your IHD in an obvious place where you can check it regularly. If you want to make energy saving into a challenge, most IHDs also allow you to set energy targets, too. You can set a daily, weekly or monthly budget for electricity and gas, and your IHD will beep when you hit the threshold. This alarm is only a guideline and can't affect your energy supply, so there's no need to worry if you go over your target.

Setting a budget is a handy way to keep an eye on your energy use

Your IHD can show you historical data too, so it's easy to compare past energy usage with what you're using now. See? We said it was clever. Find out more about how to use your In-Home Display.

Smarter energy use will cut over-reliance on fossil fuels

As well as saving you some money on your energy bills, cutting down energy usage at home has big implications for the national energy system.

Smart Energy GB says that smart meters will enable the industry to better manage supply and demand and shift away from traditional peak times, which are currently heavily reliant on fossil fuel energy.

The UK has committed to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, and reducing energy wastage is a key part of that journey.

We'd love to hear your tips for cutting your energy use at home over in the Bulb Community, or check out our guide to what makes smart meters so smart.