Is Your Business Switched on to the Smart Meter Opportunity?

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Is Your Business Switched on to the Smart Meter Opportunity electricity

Is Your Business Switched on to the Smart Meter Opportunity?

Smart meters have become a staple talking point in the press for months, if not years, so you’ll struggle to find someone who doesn’t know anything about them.

So far, though, the main topic of conversation has focused on their possible benefits for owner-occupiers and renters in the residential sector. Does this mean that the opportunity for small businesses to keep tabs on how much gas and electricity they are using is being overlooked?

The smart meter revolution

Firstly, let’s look at the rise of the smart meter. The government has set electricity and gas installation companies and suppliers a target to make this technology readily available to every home across England, Scotland and Wales by 2020.

The idea behind this is to gradually phase out imprecise estimated readings in favour of up-to-the-minute usage recordings which are taken by smart meters. These measurements are then sent directly to energy suppliers and used to generate fully accurate bills, based on actual usage.

There are many homes already fitted with smart metres, but crucially, it’s not just homes that are eligible to benefit. Do you run a small business with fewer than 10 employees? Then, chances are, you’re entitled to a smart meter too. 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.

Is Your Business Switched on to the Smart Meter Opportunity gasWhat’s in it for my business?

Don’t worry, we understand you may be wondering what benefits smart metres hold other than providing accurate energy bills. Well, here are just some other benefits for you to read over:

No nasty surprises

Projected bills based on estimated readings will be a thing of the past, meaning no more nasty surprises, which will make managing your overheads so much easier – a big plus for small businesses.

No more meter readings
Forget about those manual meter readings that can disrupt your working day – it does its thing, you do yours. Simple.
Better understanding, smarter usage
Smart meters’ display units will clearly show you the correlation between habits and energy usage. Are those three o’clock 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.
Faster response to power cuts
Britain’s energy network is upgrading in line with the mass rollout of smart meters, meaning that energy suppliers will be able to respond quicker to power cuts in the near future.
A 21st-century approach to energy
Britain’s future energy supply plans are massive and smart meters are just a part of a much bigger picture. 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.
Innovative energy tariffs
These meters will help suppliers to identify usage patterns – and it’s this kind of information that suppliers need to develop new, innovative and increasingly competitive tariffs.

Is Your Business Switched on to the Smart Meter Opportunity thumbs

OK, you’ve convinced me. How do I get one?

Well, it’s great news for any business owners who lack spare time. If you want a smart meter, you barely need lift a finger yourself. Once you’ve made the initial move of speaking to your energy supplier or broker (or your landlord, in the case of rented premises), here’s what will happen:

1. Agree a time and day
Provided you’re eligible, you will be contacted by your energy supplier to a set up an installation appointment. They will work with you to ensure this is a time that works for both parties, and causes minimal disruption to the running of your business.
2. Let your supplier in on installation day
It may sound simple, but you must be there to let a specially trained installer from your energy supplier in when they call round at the time you agree to fit your smart meter.
3. Plug and play
Once fitted, you will be shown how to use your smart meter by your installer and they will be able to answer any questions you may have.

Hey presto! That’s it. As soon as your smart meter is in, your business can start reaping the benefits.

Results that speak for themselves

You don’t have to take our word for it, either. Post-installation surveys have shown high levels of satisfaction from customers with smart meters. 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.

So, if you’re ready to join the smart meter revolution, take the time to talk to your supplier today.

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