Benefits of a Smart Meter . Is it compulsory to have a smart meter installed

Is it Compulsory to Have a Smart Meter Installed?

All the hype around the rollout of this new way of measuring energy consumption has left people wondering… is it compulsory to have a smart meter installed?

What is a smart meter?

Smart meters provide businesses and household with a digital way to measure gas and electricity readings. The smart meter will send these readings directly to your energy supplier. Smart meters serve as a replacement for your existing gas and electricity meters. The difference between a traditional meter and a smart meter is that smart meters send the data they collect to your energy supplier remotely, which means you don’t need to take manual meter readings. 

The benefits of having a smart meter

Whether or not it’s compulsory to have a smart meter installed, this digital technology comes with a number of benefits.

  • Because a smart meter takes accurate readings, this means to your energy bills will be more accurate too.
  • You won’t need to take manual energy readings.
  • Having accurate energy consumption data on hand allows you to take control of your energy use. You can improve your energy efficiency and strategic energy management.
  • With the meter’s display feature, you’ll have access to real-time updates, aware of how much energy you’re using and when you’re using it.  

Did you know? The Carbon Trust estimates that the average business wastes 20% of the energy it buys.

Smart metering in homes and businesses leads to a smarter market in general, arming consumers with the knowledge to switch suppliers and find the energy contract most suited to their individual needs. In addition, energy suppliers will have more accurate data about the energy ecosystem as a whole, allowing them to better meet energy supply and demands.

However, benefits aside, many businesses and households are asking: is it compulsory to have a smart meter installed?

Why wouldn’t a business want a smart meter installed?

Those asking whether it’s compulsory to have a smart meter installed may have some reservations about smart meter rollout…

  • Smart meters can be hacked – your smart meter is required to meet strict Government security standards, but, as with any technology, it’s important to remain vigilant.
  • It will cost more money – although you may see a slight increase in your energy bills to compensate for the rollout of this new technology, there are no upfront costs for smart meter installation.
  • Installing the meter will cause downtime – energy suppliers will generally install meters during working hours, but some are willing to be flexible. The downtime associated with smart meter installation is normally around 20 minutes.
  • Switching suppliers – once you have a smart meter installed by an energy company, you can still switch suppliers at a later stage if you’d like to. The smart meters rolled out are ‘interoperable’, which means that all suppliers will be able to support them.
  • Operate from rented premises – simply get in touch with your landlord to ask about having a smart meter installed.

Is it compulsory to have a smart meter installed?

New government requirements have commissioned energy companies to install smart meters in business premises and domestic homes by 2019. But this only applies if your household or business wants a smart meter. The Government requires that energy suppliers offer smart meters to all small businesses and homes. However, smart meters are not a legal requirement, therefore it’s not compulsory to have a smart meter installed.

However, having a smart meter at your premises is likely to become the norm in years to come.

Is it compulsory to have a smart meter installed in the USA?

The United States is ahead of the UK when it comes to smart meter installation. In 2016, the USA had about 70 million smart meters installed – about 50% of USA households. Although it’s not compulsory to have a smart meter installed, most electric companies in the United States are actively installing the smart meter technology.

How to get a smart meter installed in 4 simple steps

  1. Ask your energy supplier or your energy broker about what’s on offer.
  2. Decide on the appropriate solution with your energy broker.
  3. Arrange suitable time and date with your energy supplier to have the smart meter installed.
  4. Start taking control of your energy bills!

The smarter way to measure your energy 

So, is it compulsory to have a smart meter installed? No, it’s not. But there certainly are many benefits. Contact Smarter Business to help you find the best energy contract for your needs and ensure that your smart meter is installed effortlessly and cost-effectively.