Business Smart Meters
Business owners have a responsibility to reduce their maintenance costs as much as possible to utilise their income efficiently to create improved service and generate higher profits. One of the highest costs to a business is their energy bills, and so by decreasing them, they can spend their money on more beneficial things to their business. In order to do so, you may want to consider a business smart meter.
Smart meters are the newest, most innovative tool to aid companies in analysing their energy usage and learning how to lower their usage themselves. So far, over 24 million smart meters have been installed in households and businesses, and this number is continuing to rise as more people realise how useful it is to own one.
What is a Smart Meter?
Essentially, a smart meter is an electronic device that displays live information on its screen regarding energy consumption or even multiple sites. An engineer hired by your energy supplier will install them quickly and easily, taking one to two hours. For businesses that use both gas and electricity, two separate smart meters require installing, showing data for both types of energy to be more detailed.
In comparison to traditional meters, they are more accurate and send live updates to the energy supplier so that they can record your consumption and charge you precise energy bills. Whilst older meters require distributors to come to your household to submit readings trimonthly, so are less reliable and may over-charge you. In addition, older meters could not tell you where and when you are spending the most money on energy. Therefore, recognising where you could save is virtually impossible, not allowing you to be aware of your electricity and gas usage.
Advantages of a Business Smart Meters
As aforementioned, the significant advantage of smart meters over traditional meters is that you do not have to submit readings manually. Smart meters can send data over to your energy supplier through two routes: HH and NHH. Half hourly (HH) meters are more useful for larger businesses and send energy consumption data every 30 minutes so that the information is more accurate as more readings are taken. Alternatively, smaller to medium businesses with lower energy consumption can opt for Non-Half Hourly (NHH) meters that do not send information as often.
You can recognise which type of meter you have by checking the MPAN, the unique 21-number code on your meter; if the profile class is ‘00’, your peak load usage is over 100kW and classed as a HH meter.
The In-Home Display (IHD) screen shows the energy consumption in the form of kWh, how much money this has cost in numeric display form, and whether it is connected to the Wi-Fi. The IHD must be kept close to the smart meter. As the energy consumption is displayed in a specific period, you can set this to whichever time you desire to see when you have used more electricity or gas, on which days and during which hours.
This is very beneficial in a business as identifying when the peak demand times are and reducing your energy usage reduces your energy bill drastically, as often this is when energy prices are highest. You can even install many smart meters at different sites if you are a large business to analyse which departments are the most wasteful and set targets to combat this.
Furthermore, the use of the IHD is beneficial to the environment. By identifying which factors cause excessive energy usage, for instance, which areas, times or dates, we can reduce our reliance at these times. At peak times, typically around the evening, the entire nation may be cooking dinner, using electronic devices for entertainment, and cranking up the heating.
As a result, this creates a massive demand on the national grid and energy becomes more expensive. In businesses, is it vital to reduce energy consumption so you can save money and use it at another time instead? Not only does this reduce costs, but it reduces the need for burning fossil fuels and emitting greenhouse gases. Therefore the environmental benefits and climate change is degenerated.
Often, you can find out if a machine or device is broken through your smart meter. Some smart meters can even be linked to your phone and give a breakdown of energy usage based on the type of device. If the kWh is very high, this can help you recognise which machine is not working at its optimal function and allow you to fix it or discard it. Anomalies in consumption can easily be distinguished, and unnecessary waste is eliminated.
Disadvantages of a Business Smart Meters
As with any device, smart meters have faults. If your business is located somewhere with poor signal, and you do not have good Wi-Fi, your smart meter will not work as it needs a fast connection to send data to the energy supplier. Whilst this is uncommon for businesses, if you are a small or newly developing company, it may be challenging to install the smart meter unless you are in a well-connected location.
As smart meters are relatively new, not every energy supplier has the tools or resources to accommodate the technology associated with them. As a result, a minority of energy suppliers cannot provide or install them. It may be worth looking into switching suppliers or contacting them and questioning whether they plan to offer them any time soon.
To sum up, smart meters are the step-up developing businesses need to manage their electricity and gas usage optimally. By reducing energy bill costs, businesses can focus on other, more customer-oriented and productive strategies and spend money on them instead. They are better for the environment, do not require manual readings, are straightforward, and can spot anomalies or excessive usage. If you have strong Wi-Fi and your energy supplier supports it, it is worthwhile considering installing the newer smart meter.
If you would like to learn more about smart meters for small businesses, you can do so here.
Other useful links about Business Energy
Are Charities Entitled to Energy Discounts?
Switching Business Utilities
Opus Energy for your Business
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