Smart meters have been a part of the energy sector for years, with many households switching to them to make their energy consumption more efficient.
However, are these also beneficial for small businesses? If you want to find out whether a smart meter could help lower costs and save energy at your company building, find out everything you need to know about smart meters from commercial gas leader, Flogas…
How did the smart meter rise in popularity?
The history of the smart meter begins with a government initiative. The government has set electricity and mains gas suppliers the target of making the technology available to every home in England, Scotland and Wales by 2020 — that’s 26 million households in total.
But why is the government so eager to implement smart meters in UK households? The reason is basically to phase out imprecise estimated readings in favour of up-to-the-minute digital energy usage recordings. These measurements are then sent directly to energy suppliers and used to generate fully accurate bills, based on actual usage.
Houses around the UK are either scheduled to be fitted with a smart meter or already have one. Run a small business with fewer than ten employees? Then, chances are, you’re entitled to a smart meter. If in doubt, simply ask your energy supplier or broker. 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 can your business benefit from a smart meter?
Accurate bills are the main benefit of the smart meter, but surely there must be other advantages for a business owner? The short answer is yes there is, and these are just some of them:
- No surprise bills
No more projected bills based on estimated readings which can make managing your overheads easier.
- Better understanding and smarter usage
The beauty of a smart meter is that it details energy use and office habits, so you can make cost-efficient changes if necessary. 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 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.
- Elimination of meter readings
Forget having to interrupt the day to let the energy supplier employee in to read your meter; a smart meter removes this need to make your day easier.
- Quicker response to power cuts
The nation’s energy network is upgrading in line with the increase of smart meters, therefore, energy suppliers can respond quicker to power cuts.
- A contemporary approach
Put simply, smart meters are the future for the UK — don’t get left behind. 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
As we mentioned, smart meters can help you detect habits and energy use spikes — and they can do the same for the supplier. This information can help develop new, innovative and increasingly competitive tariffs.
How do I get a smart meter in my company building?
If you’re busy and have little time to spare, you’ll be glad to hear you barely have to do anything to get a smart meter fitted. 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:
- Arrange a date
Contact your energy supplier and arrange a time that’s good for you. They will work with you to ensure this is a time that works for both parties and causes minimal disruption to the running of your business.
- Allow entry on installation day
The installer will visit at the arranged time — so make sure they can gain access.
- Learn the basics
Once fitted, your installer will demonstrate how your smart meter works. Now’s the time for any questions, too.
Reap the rewards of your new smart meter
All sounds good, but are you still hesitant? Check out recent survey polls from people who use smart meters. 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, while 89% were happy with the installation visit.
Get on board with smart meters and improve the efficiency of your workplace today!