What exactly is a smart meter?
STANDARD gas and electricity meters fitted in most Irish homes only measure consumption.
Smart meters, using in-home display screens, show householders the cost of the electricity or gas which is being used.
This includes information on how much electricity is needed to power the washing machine, and how much money is spent by leaving the phone charger plugged in all the time, or the heating on all night.
It can also provide other information, including past energy use broken down into half-hour, daily, weekly, monthly or annual periods.
This allows people to see if they are increasing, or reducing, their energy use.
The cost of electricity depends on the time of day. Lowest demand is at night, peaking between 5pm and 7pm.