An Accessible in-Home Display (AIHD) works with a Smart Meter, the new generation of gas and electricity meter. It allows you to see how much energy you are using in near real time and includes features such as large buttons, high contrast display and text-to-speech functionality.
Accessible in-Home Displays (AIHD) FAQ
Frequently asked questions regarding Accessible in-Home Displays (AIHD)
The AIHD allows more customers, including those who are blind or partially sighted, to access the benefits of smart metering. The AIHD can help consumers understand and reduce their energy consumption and costs. An AIHD could be helpful if you are:
- Blind or partially sighted.
- Have difficulties using your hands or wrists.
- Have difficulties with memory loss.
Smart Meters and AIHDs can help you access the benefits of smart metering, including:
- A better understanding of your energy usage, allowing you to budget more effectively.
- Telling your energy company how much gas and electricity you're using so you don't need to provide meter readings.
- Getting bills based on actual, rather than estimated, meter readings.
AIHDs are only supplied for use with Smart Meters.
- If you know more about your energy usage, you can identify which appliances are consuming the most energy. This allows you to budget more efficiently.
- Text-to-speech function for screen navigation.
- Adjustable volume for the text-to-speech function.
- Coloured LEDs which indicate electricity usage.
- LED push button to replay speech.
- Large typeface.
- TFT screen with a high contrast colour scheme optimised for visual impairment and colour blindness.
- A Smart Meter works together with an AIHD.
- A Smart Meter tells your energy company how much gas and electricity you're using so you don't need to provide meter readings.
- Bills are based on actual rather than estimated meter readings.
There is no extra cost for a Smart Meter and AIHD.
An AIHD can be requested from your energy supplier. If you or a family member have sight loss or other accessibility needs, contact your energy supplier to discuss the available options. Your supplier will be able to provide further information on the AIHD.
AIHDs meet accessibility requirements for blind and partially sighted people.
RNIB and Smart Meter display manufacturer geo have worked with industry, including trade body Energy UK to develop the AIHD which has additional features such as large buttons and text-to-speech functionality. RNIB is publicising the benefits of Smart Meters and AIHDs. RNIB has not partnered with energy providers.
Smart Meters and AIHDs give near real time information on energy use.
Smart Meters and AIHDs allow you to track how much energy you are using in near real time. Keeping track of how much energy is consumed allows better budgeting and awareness of energy consumption management.
Various steps can be taken to reduce energy consumption, follow this link to find out more: https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/hub/quick-tips-to-save-energy/
You can reach out to your energy supplier, and they will give you further instructions.
The £400 discount, administered by energy suppliers, will be paid to consumers over six months with payments starting from October 2022, to ensure households receive financial support throughout the winter months.
Follow this link to find out more: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/400-energy-bills-discount-to-support-households-this-winter
RNIB recognises the benefits of Smart Meters and AIHDs in managing energy use and budgets. RNIB helped to develop the AIHD. However, Smart Meter and AIHD installation is a personal decision.
AIHDs make smart meters more accessible, which can help people budget for energy and reduce energy usage.
- You need to state your accessible format requirement to your energy provider and the organisation is then required to send you information in that specific format. There is information either on their website, or their customer service agents should be able to assist.
- There is also help and support via the Priority Services Register which you register on via your utility provider. This also provides additional services including accessible documents.
If your supplier is not offering AIHD, they should be able to inform you about future availability.
There are tips on GOV.UK in its section dedicated to finding ways to save energy in your home: https://www.gov.uk/improve-energy-efficiency
There is available advice on:
- SEGB at https://www.smartenergygb.org/resource-centre/materials/2022-general-assets/advice-and-information-if-you-are-worried-about-your-energy-bills-and-falling-into-debt/advice-and-information-if-you-are-worried-about-your-energy-bills-and-falling-into-debt-large-print-in-english
- Money saving expert at https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/utilities/how-to-get-help-if-you-re-struggling-with-your-energy-bills-/
- National Energy Action – warm and safe house advice at nea.org.uk/get-help/wash-advice/
- UK Power Networks Energy Advice Line. This is a free service to help people reduce their energy bills, stay warm and access the local help available to them. It’s targeted at households either already in, or at risk of, fuel poverty. Customers can call the team on 0800 073 9213. Opening hours are 8:45am – 5.30pm Monday to Friday.
There is available advice on:
- Ni Energy at https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/contacts/ni-energy-advice
- Home Energy Scotland at https://www.homeenergyscotland.org/warmer-home/
RNIB has worked with Smart Energy GB to make sure that suppliers are fully informed of the current campaign, demand for AIHDs can be met, and that they can offer support with setting up and using them.
However, it has come to our attention that some customers have been told by their energy company that they can’t supply them with AIHDs or that they don't know about their availability.
RNIB is asking energy companies to confirm they've done everything in their power to ensure their employees are aware of AIHDs, and are fully trained in how to get the device out to their blind and partially sighted customers. RNIB is also offering support and advice with the customer journey on their website and helpline services.