Benefits of a Smart Meter for Small Businesses

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, which are sent directly to energy suppliers. 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, there are a number of benefits associated with this digital technology.

  • 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 and 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.

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 is only if a smart meter is wanted by the household or business. The government requires that smart meters are offered by energy suppliers to all small businesses and homes, but 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.

How to get a smart meter installed in 3 simple steps

  1. Ask your energy supplier or your energy broker about what’s on offer.
  2. Once you or your broker have decided on the appropriate solution, you can arrange suitable time and date with your energy supplier to have the smart meter installed.
  3. Start taking control of your energy bills!

The smarter way to measure your energy 

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.