Everything you need to know about smart meters for business

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If you’re not sure what a smart energy meter is, or how having one could help your business, our handy guide to smart meters for business will tell you everything you need to know.

The systematic roll-out of smart meters across the country is set to revolutionise the way energy is measured and monitored by both customers and suppliers, leading to better energy efficiency and more accurate billing. And your business will also be able to get all the benefits of a smart meter, the same way households can.

What are business smart meters?

Smart meters work much like energy monitors, in that they keep track of the gas and electricity you use, so you can keep a handle on exactly how much energy you’re using, as well as how and when you’re using it. This can help both businesses and households to be more energy efficient.

The main difference between and smart meter and an energy monitor is that smart meters relay all this real-time usage information directly to your supplier, so you can be sure you’re billed accurately for the energy you use.

A real benefit of this new technology is that you can keep a closer eye on the amount you use, therefore lowering - or simply streamlining - the amount you spend on energy day-to-day. And as the smart meter rollout continues, suppliers should be able to offer a range of new services and tariffs based upon the accuracy of the technology.

Once you know exactly when you use most energy, you could consider moving on to a more appropriate tariff, such as the time of use tariff, a plan that charges you varying amounts depending on when the energy is used.

The benefits of smart meters for gas and electricity aren’t simply limited to pricing. Problems with the service can be recognised earlier due to the more constant and accurate supply of information on your premises. As a business, this early diagnosis could make the difference between your business staying open or shutting down temporarily in the event of an energy issue.

A smart electricity meter can help your earn, too. If you create your own energy through plans such as the feed-in scheme, your meter will tell you how much you’ve made for yourself, and how much you’ve exported to the energy grid.

How can your business get a smart meter?

If you’d like to have a smart meter installed at your business premises, here’s what to do:

  • Identify your supplier and customer number
  • Give your supplier a call and request a smart meter to be fit at your business
  • They’ll arrange an appointment for the engineer to visit your premises.
  • On this date, an engineer will fit your meter. Installation typically takes about an hour per meter.

Please be aware that your new smart meter will be installed in the same place as your previous, older meter, so make sure you clear the area before the engineer arrives. Installation typically takes about an hour per meter - with gas and electricity requiring separate meters.

What are the benefits of a smart meter for business?

Smart meters can be a great way to control and monitor your energy costs. Here are some of the key benefits:

  • Your bills will be more accurate. This will save you money and hassle.
  • You can reduce your energy usage by identifying and spreading out times of high energy usage.
  • Your supplier will be able to give you more tailored, personal energy-saving advice.

How much do smart meters cost?

Installation of a smart meter at your business premise is free.

The estimated cost of the smart meter initiative is £7 billion, and this will be passed on to consumers via their energy bills. However, it is said that the increases will be small, and that by 2020 non-domestic customers should benefit from lower bills to the tune of £100 a year.

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