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Does your business need a smart meter?

Smart meters or Automatic Meter Readers (AMR) as they are often called, are being rolled out and if you haven’t yet considered having them installed for your business, we’ve put together some information that will help you make an informed decision.

The main advantages of having smart meters fitted

No more estimated bills; your bills should accurately reflect your usage. This can be a huge advantage if you’ve been overpaying, or even underpaying, for your energy.

Data is transmitted wirelessly to your supplier; this data infrastructure is provided by The Data Communications Company, which is regulated by Ofgem, so the data is transmitted safely and securely. Smart meters use the GSM mobile network, so if you are in an area with a good mobile signal then this should work well.

What to look out for

Many Energy suppliers have been forging partnerships with metering companies and have begun installing smart meters under the headline that they are free of charge. The reality is that under a supply arrangement with your chosen supplier, part of the monthly standing charge includes an element which they pay to an agency to physically read your meter.

For an electricity supply, this would typically equate to an annual charge of around £80, a charge that you do not directly see. By arranging installation of a ‘free’ smart meter, suppliers are simply re-directing these funds to a preferred metering provider to install a smart meter on their behalf.

Consumption data from these meters would be ‘owned’ by the supplier, and the metering provider would generally aim to sell services that provide access to detailed usage information.

The solution

As a business, you can opt to have an independent smart meter installed. This has many advantages including the fact that it is owned by you and therefore you own the data and analytical reporting and insights. It also means that you can switch suppliers easily and it can help you budget and monitor expenditure more effectively.

Charges are comparable to the built-in cost that suppliers already make as part of the increased standing charge that comes with having a smart meter installed by your energy supplier, so in most cases will mean a cost neutral exercise.

Having your own smart meter installed will give you access to:

  • Annual, Monthly, Weekly and Daily consumption reports
  • Exception reports where consumption exceeds pre-defined parameters
  • The ability to switch suppliers easily with accurate changeover meter readings
  • Cost optimisation through effective tariff management
  • Energy savings through consumption monitoring and control

In conclusion, smart meters are a great way to keep on top of your energy costs, monitor spending and really understand how data can influence how to optimise your business energy usage.

If you are interested in having independently installed smart meters so that you can own, manage and analyse your data, or even have us do it for you so we can recommend the best way for your business to purchase energy, why not get in touch today?