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Coronavirus: Smart meter owners estimate £270m energy savings

A person holds a smart meter. (Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)

Smart meter owners may have saved almost £270m ($340m) in energy bills during lockdown, according to new research.

A study of 2,000 adults with a smart meter found they each estimated a reduction in energy payments of £39.50 since March 23.

Smart meters replace normal gas or electricity meters and monitor a household's usage in real time. Updated reading are then automatically sent to the energy supplier.

More than six in 10 of the UK’s smart meter owners check their energy usage display at least once a week, with 32% looking at least once a day.

Some 54% use the budgeting function on the In-Home Display.

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And customers with smart meters are likely to use other money saving methods, concludes the report.

The study found a third of smart meter owners kept a close eye on their bank balance, by regularly monitoring their spending.

Survey participants also saved money by air drying clothes (34%), doing one big shop to last the week (28%) and growing fruit and vegetables (25%).

Almost a third of respondents believe lockdown has made them more savvy with money.

Four in 10 said it helps to have banking apps on their mobile devices.

Bill Bullen, CEO of smart energy company Utilita, said: “One thing which is clear from this research is that the majority of smart meter owners are both frugal with their money and smart with their spending, having adopted a number of methods to save cash."