Smart meters are a great way for households and businesses to monitor energy use and take control of their bills, potentially saving energy and money while reducing the impact of UK PLC on the planet.
To date, more than 29.5 million smart and advanced meters are operating in homes and businesses across Great Britain, with many business owners requesting smart meters every month. The deadline for the rollout is December 31, 2025.
Smart meters enable accurate billing – meaning your business will only need to pay for the energy it actually uses. This could help your business take control of your energy bills. Even better, smart meters send gas and electricity readings directly and securely to your supplier so you don’t have to – taking one item off your busy to-do list!
When it comes to installing a smart meter, you’ll first need to talk to your energy supplier and confirm the eligibility of your business. Once confirmed, you will follow the standard step-by-step installation process detailed below.
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#1 – Ask your energy supplier or broker what’s on offer
To begin the process, there are two ports of call to make. First, speak to your landlord and ask whether they have plans to install smart meters in your building. If not, discuss the potential for doing so. If you pay bills directly to your supplier then you can request a smart meter without notifying your landlord, unless your contract says otherwise.
If you’re thinking of switching suppliers, it might be worth switching your supplier before getting a smart meter to make the process smoother.
Talk to an energy broker or go directly to your energy supplier who will take you through your options.
#2 – Set an appointment for installation
Your energy supplier will arrange a date and time for the installation in the same way you might book a plumber or electrician. Usually, they will be able to work around busy periods and agree a slot that is convenient; many installers are able to visit outside of normal working hours too, so feel free to ask if this is the best solution for you. An installer will never turn up unexpectedly.
#3 – Be around to let your installer in
Make a note of your time slot and remember to be in when they call, especially if you’ve arranged an out-of-hours installation. Appointments vary in length, but a good rule of thumb is that each meter will take around an hour to fit. The energy supply will be cut off for a short period, but you will need to be present for the installation.
Make sure you know where the current meters are and take steps to ensure they’re accessible for the installer.
#4 – Start to see the benefits of your smart meter
Once your smart meter is operational, it’s time to take control. Your installer will be on hand to show you how the smart meter works, and they will answer any questions you have whilst on the visit.
When you’re up to speed, it’s important to capitalise on the benefits of having a smart meter. If you have access it can be used to understand periods of high energy use and communicate your findings to the people around you. This way you can make a collective effort to manage energy consumption, thereby saving time, energy and money.
Sound good? Why not request a smart meter for your business today? The benefits to your business could be substantial.
In short: smart meter FAQs
How do smart meters help cut back on energy usage?
Smart meters show you the monetary cost of your energy use in near-real time. Having this information makes many people change their behaviour to reduce their energy consumption.
What should I do if I don’t own my property, but I pay energy bills direct?
You may want to get permission from your landlord before agreeing to any work, especially if this is stipulated in your contract.
I’m not sure who our energy supplier is because we always use a broker to get the best deal for our business, what do we do in this situation?
Get in touch with the energy broker that arranged your current energy supplier and they’ll be able to tell you. If the broker doesn’t immediately know, then it will contact the energy supplier on your behalf because this is one of the services that energy brokers offer.
Can I change how frequently my readings are taken?
Your smart meter will take readings either every half hour, once a day, or once a month. Different suppliers have different standard reading frequencies, and you can choose which one you prefer. An every-half-hour frequency offers you the most detail about your business energy usage.
Now the Market-wide Half-Hourly Settlement (MHHS) has been introduced, customers who have their smart meter installed will have their energy consumption data shared every half-hour by default.
Is my smart meter secure?
Smart meters have been designed in conjunction with both the government and GCHQ to ensure your business data is secure. Smart meters do not use the internet, and they have their own closed, dedicated communications system. Smart meters have been designed to ensure that security best practice has been incorporated at every stage.
Why are bills more accurate?
Because smart meters provide accurate readings, once you have your smart meter installed all of your future energy bills will be calculated based on what you use rather than an estimation. Smart meters give you clarity over your bills and remove the guesswork.
• Eligibility of smart meters and the in-home display may vary
• Consumer action is required to obtain cost saving benefits
For more information about the benefits of installing a smart meter in your workplace, visit Smart Energy GB at smartenergyGB.org.
This article is part of a paid-for information campaign for Smart Energy GB.
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