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Business Energy Guide to Smart Meters

This article explains what a Smart Meter is, how it works, how they’re installed and how they can help you to reduce your business energy spend.

Smart Meters are a great tool to help reduce your business energy bills. Another way to do this is by switching energy contracts. For more information, fill in the form.

What is a Smart Meter?

A Smart Meter is an electronic energy meter that automatically sends your readings to your supplier using wireless technology. They come with an in-home display screen, to show you exactly how much energy you’re using. Smart Meter features include:

  • More accurate billing - you’ll only be charged for energy you’ve used.
  • Real-time energy usage data - to help you identify ways to reduce your energy spend.

How do Smart Meters work?

A Smart Meter is made up of three components:

  • Smart Meter (one for gas and on for electricity) - takes readings of your energy usage.
  • Communications hub - sends these readings to your business energy supplier.
  • Smart Meter energy monitor - displays your real-time energy usage so you can monitor it.

You can view in near real-time how much energy you have used and your supplier can provide you with more accurate bills.

How do I get a Smart Meter?

If you’re interested in having a Smart Meter installed at your business premises, follow the steps outlined below:

  1. Request a Smart Meter from your business energy supplier.
  2. They’ll arrange an appointment for the engineer to visit your premises.
  3. On this date, an engineer will fit your meter. Installation typically takes about an hour per meter.

Your Smart Meters will need to be installed in the same location as your existing meters, so you’ll need to clear this area before your installation appointment.

The engineer will carry out the meter fitting. Installation typically takes about an hour per meter - with gas and electricity requiring separate meters.

It can also help to keep the following information in mind:

  • Your Smart Meters may need to be installed in the same location as your existing meters on your business premises, so it's a good idea to clear the area prior to the appointment.
  • You may want to change the location of your meters, which can sometimes be done at the same time as the Smart Meter installation. There may be an additional charge for this.
  • Suppliers require a responsible adult to be present at the installation, so ensure that you or an appropriate member of staff are available.

What are the benefits of Smart Meters for businesses?

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.
  • You can reduce your energy usage by identifying times of high energy usage.
  • Your supplier will be able to give you more personal energy saving advice.

Are Smart Meters free?

Technically, no. While there is no direct, upfront cost to you, smart meters are not free. The installation costs that suppliers incur from installing smart meters are recovered through a slight increase to the price of your energy bills.

Ofgem predict that this cost will only amount to roughly £100 a year, and the money that you’re likely to save due to more accurate billing should cover this cost. By 2020, the cost of smart meters will be entirely paid off, leaving you to benefit from more accurate billing and lower energy costs as a result.

How do I read a Smart Meter?

Smart Meters send readings to your supplier automatically. You can view these readings from your smart energy monitor.

Each model of a smart energy monitor functions slightly differently, so you should consult your user guide for further information.

Why has the Government enforced the rollout of Smart Meters?

Following lengthy consultations with the energy regulator Ofgem, the Government decided the rollout of Smart Meters will achieve the following goals:

  • Support Britain's move to becoming a low carbon economy.
  • Help Britian meet the challenge of ensuring an affordable, secure and sustainable energy supply.
  • Give consumers information that will help to reduce energy usage.
  • Allow energy suppliers to reduce their customer service and meter reading costs.