Smart meters seem to be stamped as the saviour to helping the UK commit to more efficient energy usage. But how can they help you and your business?
Here, we’ll explore how installing a smart meter at your business premises can lower your bills and boost your energy awareness — both crucial to making your energy use cost-effective.
How did the smart meter become popular?
So, why are smart meters so widespread? The answer partly lies with encouragement from the government, which has the target of making the technology available to every home in England, Scotland and Wales by 2020 — 26 million households in total.
One of the aims of smart meters is to eradicate inexact readings and replace them with real-time digital energy usage recordings. These measurements are then sent directly to energy suppliers and used to generate fully accurate bills, based on actual usage.
These smart meters are common in homes across the UK, but the question remains: can they help your company? Run a small business with fewer than ten employees? Then, 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 will my company benefit from a smart meter?
Being able to gain precise energy use readings is great, but what are the other advantages? Here are a selection:
The more precise smart meter allows you to understand how your habits affect your building’s energy use. 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.
Modern energy use
With regard to energy, it’s important that the UK has a plan in place to connect and check our use to keep waste down. 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.
Eradication of traditional meter readings
Forget waiting in to meet and greet the energy employee who comes round to take a reading with a smart meter.
Less fear of power cuts
Since our energy network will upgrade in sync with a boost in those using smart meters, energy suppliers will be able to react better to power cuts — which can lose money for a company.
Energy tariffs that work in your company’s favour
We’ve already discussed how smart meters can help you check your energy use habits, but did you know the energy supplier can gain a greater insight, too? It’s this kind of information that suppliers need to develop new, innovative and increasingly competitive tariffs.
Getting a smart meter installed at your business premises
Getting a smart meter installed is quick and painless, too. Once you’ve made the initial move of speaking to your supplier or broker (or your landlord, in the case of rented premises) and been deemed eligible, your energy supplier will contact you to arrange a smart meter installation time and date. After, a trained installer will visit your company’s premises to fit your smart meter — just make sure there’s someone there to let them in!
Once fitted, you and your staff will learn how your new smart meter works — and that’s it!
What do people currently think about smart meters?
Looking at surveys taken on people who have had a smart meter fitted, it’s clear that the product is a winner. 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.
This article has been researched and produced by Flogas, a mains gas supplier based in the UK.