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Helping unpaid carers manage their energy costs

Carers UK and not-for-profit campaign Smart Energy GB are working together to raise awareness of smart meters amongst unpaid carers in Britain.

Described as the next generation of gas and electricity meters, they are designed to help consumers take control of and manage their energy use at home. They have the potential to make life easier for time-pressed family members and friends caring for older, disabled or seriously ill relatives.

Unlike traditional energy meters, smart meters automatically send gas and electricity readings to energy suppliers via a secure network. They provide accurate rather than estimated billing costs for energy that has been used, and have in-home displays to help people keep track of their energy usage.

Upgrading outdated analogue meters to smart meters could save carers time and energy they may normally spend taking meter readings every month, or on the phone to their energy supplier to talk about unexpected bills. The in-home display can also help make it more simple for carers to keep an eye on energy spending habits.

Previous research published by Carers UK earlier this year shows unpaid carers find it challenging helping to manage their loved one’s affairs on top of providing many hours of physical and emotional support.

gray Nest thermostat displaying at 63

Madeleine Starr, director of business development and innovation at Carers UK, said: ‘We’re excited to be working with Smart Energy GB to raise awareness of smart meters amongst unpaid carers.

‘For some, this technology could make managing gas and electricity bills less stressful and make life that bit easier.

‘We look forward to spreading the word amongst carers; sharing information on our website, in leaflets, as well as in communication with our membership.’

Phillippa Brown, deputy director of specialist audiences at Smart Energy GB, said: ‘In Great Britain there are millions of carers who each and every day give their time and energy to support older, disabled and seriously ill relatives and friends.

‘We are delighted to join forces with Carers UK to highlight how a simple upgrade to smart meters could save them money and reduce their day to day life admin.’

The partnership is due to last until the end of 2021. For more information click here.

Photo Credit – Dan LeFebvre

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