In 2020 alone, almost 100,000 UK businesses installed smart meters.
But what is all the fuss about?
Smart meters are a talking point in the energy market at the moment. Businesses need to decide whether a smart meter is the right step for them financially. This guide will give you all the information needed about smart meters.
How many smart meters do you think have been installed in the UK?
Well, as of 31 December 2020, the UK Government reported that there were 23.6 million smart and advanced meters in homes and small businesses in Great Britain.
What Is A Smart Meter?
Smart meters are energy meters that display how much gas and electricity your business is using with real-time data. This allows businesses to monitor how much money they’re spending on energy and allows them to see usage levels.
Smart meters come in two types, SMETS 1 (Smart Meter Equipment Technical Specifications) and SMETS 2. SMETS 2 is the more common smart meter, being the newer version, that has more advanced technology.
Benefits Of Smart Meters For Businesses
So, you’ve heard about smart meters, but wondering what the hype is all about.
Time is crucial to businesses and as BusinessMatters say, smart meters are great at ‘automatically saving time and so money by investing time in your duties and the growth of your business’.
Plenty of businesses are installing smart meters and there is a reason for this. The sharp rise of smart meters being installed in commercial properties could be down to these benefits:
|Saves you money||The smart meters themselves don’t save you money, but they make you aware of how much energy you’re using. This can be an eye-opener to many businesses that don’t realise how much they’re paying each month.|
|Helps with carbon reduction||By monitoring your business energy levels, you can see exactly how much energy is being used. This gives businesses the tools to reduce energy and do their part for the environment.|
|Free to install||Many companies offer free installation of smart meters. With an incentive on the UK’s target of a net-zero future, energy suppliers are trying to get their customers to realise the energy they’re using.|
|No need for submitting meter readings||Forget manually giving readings to your energy suppliers, smart meters will do this all for your business automatically.|
|Businesses won’t get bad estimates||With more accurate energy readings, businesses won’t get charged too much on their bills and removes unexpected bills. This can help businesses to avoid cash flow problems.|
|Regular information||Smart gas meters refresh the information every 30 minutes with smart electricity meter every 10 seconds.|
Disadvantages Of Smart Meters For Businesses
There are some points to consider when deciding whether a smart meter is right for your business. Some of the drawbacks are:
|May be compatibility issues when switching||Once a smart meter is installed, there may be some issues with sending data to new suppliers if you switch. If you have any issues, contact the energy supplier you’re switching to.|
|Data privacy concerns||There have been some concerns about data collection and data privacy. The bigger energy suppliers have opt-out clauses that allow businesses to tell their provider that they wouldn’t like their business data to be shared by your energy supplier.|
|Financial benefits could take time||Over time, smart meters can help you to save money, but this is all dependent on how you use the smart meter and if you’re proactive in making changes to how your business uses energy.|
Why Are Smart Meters Important For Businesses?
As LoveMoney stated, they ‘feel more empowered and will be keeping my smart meter’.
The UK government are trying to make smart meters more popular among businesses. This is to help those businesses with financial pressures to become better at saving energy and money, along with being efficient with energy usage.
By getting automated readings every 30 minutes, businesses will only pay for the energy they’re using, not estimates from suppliers which can sometimes be off. So, by saving money and having a view of energy usage, smart meters could be viewed as an important tool for businesses.
With all the information about the time your business uses the most energy, you can consider switching to a more suitable tariff.
What Are Smart Meter Tools?
Smart meters come with more than just a device. You’ll receive an online portal, which can track all the information you need. The two tools for smart meters are:
- An in-home display unit – This tracks the amount of electricity your business is using as well as the cost per hour.
- The website portal – A simple application that provides full usage data for electricity, allowing businesses to track their energy usage and make changes if necessary.
Does My Business Need A Smart Meter?
It is required that all UK energy suppliers must offer their customers both a smart gas meter and a smart electricity meter. It isn’t compulsory to accept the offer, however many businesses are installing them.
With many customers migrating to online applications, smart meters will make it easier to view and monitor energy usage.
How Can I Get The Most Out Of My Business Smart Meter?
So, you’ve got your smart meter, but want to maximise its potential.
Start by reviewing your energy usage from the data provided. According to Finder, ’57% of respondents reported that they had begun to turn lights off and heating down’.
For businesses without an eco-friendly culture, you can try to encourage your employees to reduce energy usage wherever possible. Try new methods of energy reduction and see if it has an impact on your energy bill.
Do I Need To Pay For A Business Smart Meter?
Most businesses won’t have to pay for the instalment of a smart meter. Large businesses that are moving site or are adding sites may find additional costs, but the majority of businesses won’t need to pay for a smart meter.
This will be dependent on who your provider is, so it is recommended to speak with your current provider.
How Can I Get A Smart Meter For My Business?
Simply contact your energy supplier. They can give you their offers for smart meters. Or, if you’re considering switching your business energy supplier, see what deals they have. Many suppliers offer smart meters for free.
For a quick overview of smart meters, we’ve got you covered.
- Smart meters allow you to accurately view your businesses electricity usage.
- Smart meters give you information on how to use energy most affordably.
- They have valuable tools and gives you usage tracking.
- See what time of the day your business uses energy, allowing you to make cuts or change tariffs.
- Can help you to reduce your carbon footprint.