Getting smart meters for business premises is an excellent idea because they can help you save on your energy costs and mean that you don’t have to worry about submitting your meter readings. Our helpful guide will take you through all you need to know about getting one installed.
What is a smart meter?
A safe, secure replacement for your standard energy meter which automatically sends your gas and electricity readings to your supplier. It also functions as a kind of business energy monitor working to record your energy usage so you can see how much your its consuming.
How will a smart meter benefit my business?
Smart meters can positively impact your business in a few major ways.
> Receive more accurate and potentially cheaper bills
A smart meter may help your business to save on its energy costs because it means you no longer have to rely on estimated billing. As you can track your business’s energy usage in real time you’ll be able to see when it’s at its highest which can help you to cut your consumption down.
> Can help to reduce your business’s carbon footprint
Lowering your business’s energy consumption doesn’t only result in potentially cheaper energy bills. It’s also a brilliantly simple way to help the environment as you’ll be reducing its carbon footprint.
> Your supplier might be able to give you a better deal
The fact that a business meter allows your supplier to see how much energy you and your employees are using means that they can offer you a deal more tailored to your needs.
How do I get a smart meter for my business?
If you run a micro, small or medium sized business, often referred to as SMEs, you will be included in the UK government’s nationwide smart meter rollout project.
Although their definitions do vary a little, generally speaking:
> A micro business is any that employs less than 10 people
> A small business is any that employs less than 50 people
> A medium-sized business employs less than 250 people
The government’s original goal was to have offered every UK home and SME a free smart meter by the end of 2020.
Technical issues over the SMETS 1 model not retaining its smart functionality when customers switched suppliers combined with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic means that this deadline has now been pushed back to the end of 2025.
There is no specific timeline available for when each region will be offered a smart meter. You’re free to wait until your supplier contacts you or if you’d prefer, you can talk to them and book an installation appointment.
Can I get a smart meter if I run a large business?
Large businesses, so those which employ over 250 people, are not included in the government’s official smart meter rollout. The vast majority of these will still be eligible for a smart meter however so all you need to do is request an installation from your supplier.
Large businesses which use 100,000 kWh of electricity or 293,000 kWh of gas a year may already have what’s known as an AMR device or half hourly meter installed. There are three different types, advanced meters, data loggers and gas embedded meters, and they all function in a very similar way to a smart meter.
They too automatically send meter readings to your supplier every 30 minutes, but via the SMS network instead of the data communications company (DCC) infrastructure, so you’ll receive more accurate billing. You can also access your usage data which allows you to start implementing greener, energy saving measures.
Why would my business not be eligible for a smart meter?
In an extremely small minority of cases, it may not be possible to have a smart meter installed at your business. This is a problem that’s constantly being worked by experts to ensure that every business is able to enjoy the benefits of a smart meter.
> If your business can’t receive a good quality signal
Businesses located in more rural areas might not be able to get a strong enough signal to connect to the DCC. They are in charge of the network that your smart meter uses to talk to your supplier.
> If your gas and electricity meters are too far apart
Your gas meter first sends its readings to your electricity meter who then sends both of them onto your supplier. If your gas and electricity meters are more than 10m apart or have some very thick walls separating them, they won’t be able to communicate with each other.
Is it free to get a smart meter installed at my business?
It’s completely free of charge to get a smart meter for your business.
Will a smart meter share my business’s private data?
A smart meter will never be able to access or share private data that’s related to your business activities. This includes data about your employees, any work-related files, your business’s address and its bank account details.
What your smart meter will do is share data about your energy usage with your supplier. You can then choose whether or not your supplier can use this for marketing purposes or share it with third parties like comparison websites.
Where can I find great business energy deals?
Use Energy Helpline’s expert service to quickly and easily secure your perfect business energy deal. A
It’s completely free to use and all you need to do is to enter your postcode and give us a brief bit of information about your business.
We compare over 20 suppliers, including some exclusive tariffs, and one of our energy experts will call you back straight away within 1 to 3 minutes to discuss quotes. Once you’ve made a decision, we’ll handle the rest for a seamless, efficient switchover.