If you don’t have a smart meter installed at your business premises, you could be missing out. Although the smart meter has long been associated with improving energy efficiency in domestic buildings, it’s now being pushed as a cost-effective alternative for companies across the UK.
Have you considered gas installation alternatives? With a range of advantages, could installing a smart meter be an opportunity for entrepreneurs to keep tabs on their business gas prices and electricity usage being overlooked?
How the smart meter has evolved
So, why have we always connected the smart meter with homes and private buildings? The government set electricity and gas suppliers the goal of making the technology available to every home in England, Scotland and Wales by 2020 — that’s 26 million households in total — which is perhaps why we still associate it with home energy use.
But why the push towards this type of energy-use reader? The point of a smart meter is to offer precise, by-the-minute readings, which are made possible by smart meters. These measurements are then sent directly to energy suppliers and used to generate fully accurate bills, based on actual usage.
However, it should be known that it’s not only homes that can benefit from smart meters. Run a small business with fewer than ten employees? Then, chances are, you’re entitled to a smart meter too. If your energy bills are included in the rent you pay for your commercial premises, it’s the bill payer who needs to make the request for your smart meter — so ask your landlord.
How is a smart meter good for my business?
Accuracy, lowering costs, making readings easier: these are just a few of the benefits of smart meters. Here’s a list of smart meter advantages:
- Better usage
How your business uses energy and how much power it needs are clearly shown on your smart meter. Are those 3pm office tea rounds causing a spike in usage as the kettle goes into overdrive? Is your business wasting energy outside of normal working hours because computers are being left on overnight? These are issues a smart meter can help you identify and, more importantly, act on — whether that means investing in a hot water urn or reminding employees to switch off their machines at night. Developing a heightened awareness and understanding of your energy usage also makes you more likely to make smarter money and energy-saving decisions across your business.
- No surprises
Forget projected bills. With a smart meter, managing your overheads is a lot easier — a big plus for small businesses.
- No more readings
Manual readings can be an inconvenience to a busy working day. But having a smart meter in place eliminates the need for these.
- Quicker way to deal with power cuts
The UK’s energy network is enhancing alongside the rise in smart meters. This means that energy suppliers will be able to respond quicker to power cuts.
- A new approach to energy
The smart meter is not a fad, it’s a revolution. Put simply, the long-term plan is to create a fully integrated smart grid linking different hardware, communications and other technologies together in something of an internet for gas and electricity. Smart meters are a crucial step towards this vision, which will eventually serve homes and businesses alike with greener, more efficient, less wasteful and more cost-effective energy.
- Innovative energy tariffs
Energy suppliers can better understand usage patterns with a smart meter, too. This kind of information is key to suppliers that wish to develop new, innovative and increasingly competitive tariffs.
How to get a smart meter
It takes very little time or effort to get a smart meter installed at your business premises. Once you’ve made the initial move of speaking to your energy supplier or broker (or your landlord, in the case of rented premises), here’s what will happen:
- Date agreed
The energy supplier you sue will be in touch to work out a good time of day to install your meter. They will work with you to ensure this causes minimal disruption to the running of your business.
- Supplier arrives
At the agreed time, simply let your smart meter installer inside the building.
- Smart meter is installed
After installation, your installer will demonstrate how your new smart meter works. Now’s the time to ask questions, too.
Once your smart meter is up and running, your business can start reaping the benefits.
What are the latest comments about smart meters?
It seems as if smart meter customers are generally very positive about this technology. For example, the Smart Meter Customer Experience Study carried out in August 2017 by the government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy revealed that 80% of those surveyed were satisfied with the technology itself, while 89% were pleased with the installation visit.
Keen to get on board with the smart meter trend? Talk to your supplier today or visit www.smartenergygb.org for more information.