Smart metering: a better deal for UK SMEs

Small to medium sized businesses are losing out on the energy usage insight and potential savings offered by smart meters. A new programme aims to change that.

Too many companies are missing out on the benefits of smart meters, especially ‘micro businesses’ (with fewer than 10 employees, a turnover of not more than €2 million, consuming not more than 293,000 kWh of gas or not more than 100,000 kWh of electricity per year). But what are they and how do you get one?

What is a smart meter?

Smart meters (not to be confused with ‘advanced meters’) are the evolution of your current energy meter. Real time data on your usage helps energy suppliers control the way in which they buy and use gas and electricity, which also means you could benefit from lower bills.

How do smart meters work?

By sending electronic meter readings to your energy supplier automatically, smart meters give you real-time feedback on your energy usage and what it is costing. This insight alone can help to cut business energy bills by seeing when your gas and electricity usage spikes.

What do smart meters mean for my business?

“Smart meters will be a vital tool for giving small businesses the information they need to make proactive decisions about energy usage,” according to Smart Energy GB’s report.

The Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) discovered the most motivating benefits to micro businesses are accurate bills (specifically avoiding disputes), an end to meter readings, the ability to track and monitor energy patterns and saving money.

Smart meter rollout

All homes and micro businesses should have a smart meter installed by 2020 so you are entitled to a smart meter, which will have no upfront cost. But, according to Smart Energy GB, with 50 million meters being fitted over six years, “some of us will have to wait a while to get our meter”.

Other potential obstacles for smaller businesses to realising the full potential of smart meters can include: inadequate handover process, perceived disruption to business as usual, insufficient post installation support and lack of time or imperative to prioritise requesting a smart meter.

Have more questions about business electricity? The answers are likely on our dedicated page.

Compare business energy

Smart meters are one route to cheaper business energy. For a more immediate no-fuss fix, SwitchMyBusiness.com offers a 20 minute comparison of business energy deals and switch to a new energy supplier. Just fill in the form at the top right of this page or call us on 0330 0100 251

Our dedicated pages have lots more information about business gas and business electricity.

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