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49% Suffer from Smart Meter Anxiety


Smart meters have become commonplace in homes across the UK – but what impact are they having on our behaviour?

We decided to take a deep dive into the nation’s relationship with the nifty little gizmos that are designed to monitor and help us adjust our home’s energy use.

In theory of course, smart meters are a fantastic idea. By keeping an eye on how much energy we are using in our homes, we can make informed decisions about how we choose to use appliances throughout our houses.

But are smart meters good news for everyone? Or do they have the potential to cause more stress and worry to some people who may already be struggling with the cost of their energy bills.

We decided to survey more than 1,000 people about their experience with smart meters and we believe the results make interesting reading.

Sure enough many people are loving their smart meters and many agree that they are helping them to save energy and reduce their bills.

Almost four in ten of the people we spoke to (38%) said the devices were helping them to reduce their bills either slightly or significantly.

But a significant number of people, 26%, reported that the devices were having a negative impact on their lives.

smart meter anxiety

We were surprised to discover that 20% of the people we talked to said their smart meter had caused their bills to increase.

And it seems the devices are triggering stress and anxiety for almost half of the people who use them with 49% telling us they suffered from ‘smart meter anxiety’, including 9% who rated the stress as severe and a further 10% who said it was significant.

Almost three in ten people, 28%, said they had lost sleep at night worrying about paying their energy bills.

Perhaps the most concerning statistic of all was discovering that 6% of respondents had visited their GP or another health professional with stress due to their energy bills.

Overall it’s a complex picture. Smart meters are useful devices which many people are finding effective at tracking their energy use and helping reduce bills.

But for a significant number of people the devices are acting as a constant reminder of their energy consumption and of the high bills destined to land on their doorstep.

Survey Results – Feb 2023  (Sample Size 1100)
Do you have a smart meter? %
Yes 56.6
No 43.4
How often are you checking your smart meter?  
Not at all34.5
Once a week15.2
Several times a week12.7
Once a day 12.7
Several times a day 24.9
Have you reduced your energy use as a response to your smart meter checks? 
How has it impacted your energy bills? 
Reduced them slightly30.5
Reduced them significantly 7.5
About the same42.5
Increased them slightly6.9
Increased them significantly 12.6
Since getting your smart meter, have you ever felt stress or anxiety as a result of your checks? 
Not at all50.7
Some stress and anxiety30.2
Significant stress and anxiety10.1
Severe stress and anxiety 9
Have you ever lost sleep as a result of anxiety over your energy bills?  
Have you spoken to a GP or health professional about energy bill related stress?  
Overall would you say your smart meter has had a positive or negative impact on your life?  
Positive 32.6
No difference 41
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Quotezone.co.uk helps around 3 million users every year find savings on household bills and essentials including energy comparison, car insurance as well niche items such as taxi insurance and courier insurance.

This article is intended as generic information only and is not intended to apply to anybody’s specific circumstances, demands or needs. The views expressed are not intended to provide any financial service or to give any recommendation or advice. Products and services are only mentioned for illustrative rather than promotional purposes.