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The second Smart Energy Outlook, published by SmartEnergyGB, offers a compelling case for the uptake of smart meters by UK SMEs.
Research by SwitchMyBusiness.com showed that over half of UK SMEs do not understand their energy contract, increasing the risks of rip offs like contract rollover and deemed rates. A smart meter may help: SmartEnergyGB found that three quarters of respondents (75%) with a smart meter understand their energy bills compared with 56% of those with traditional meters.
In addition, people with smart meters feel more informed and in control of their energy use. More than eight in ten (82%) feel they have a better idea of what they are spending on energy and nearly seven in ten (69%) say they are more conscious about the energy that they use.
Lastly, smart meter customers are also more confident in the accuracy of their bills. Nearly four in five (79%) believe that their energy bills are accurate, whereas only 59% of those without a smart meter feel the same.
While many small to medium sized businesses may be ambivalent about smart meters, the potential to transform business electricity is undeniable. Estimated bills would be a thing of the past and business owners can compare the business electricity costs of different appliances in near real time.
In the medium term, smart meters are a crucial component of smart grids, opening the door to smart appliances and business electricity tariffs. As SmartEnergyGB notes, the national upgrade represents a vital digitisation of the energy industry, replacing analogue technology which creates confusion and inaccuracy – the mechanical meters that haven’t changed much since the 19th century.
Every home and microbusiness in Great Britain will have the opportunity to upgrade to a smart meter by 2020. Smart meters will be installed by energy suppliers, at no extra cost to consumers, and ‘almost 2 million have already been fitted across Scotland, England and Wales.
(You can find out more about Smart Meters here)
The time to engage with the smart meter revolution is now. Understanding of what smart maters are is rapidly growing: 18% said they understood in March 2015, a figure that had grown to 23% by September 2015. Two-thirds (66%) of people who understand what a smart meter is are interested in having one, or already have one.
Sacha Deshmukh, Chief Executive of Smart Energy GB said: “This digitisation of Britain’s last analogue industry is vital, and will transform the experiences all of us have when buying our gas and electricity. It’s great to see such a huge percentage of smart meter customers, 84%, so enthusiastic about the experience that they would recommend one to their friends.”
Energy Minister Lord Bourne said: “It is our priority to ensure hardworking families and businesses across the country experience the many benefits of installing a smart meter, bringing an end to estimated bills and meter readings. Not only do more people think their energy bill is accurate but because they can see their energy in real time, smart meters give people greater control over their energy use.
There is more information and resources concerning business electricity on our dedicated page.
(Image courtesy of SmartEnergyGB)
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