The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) reports that as of March 2020, there were 21.5 million smart and advanced* meters operating in homes and small businesses in Great Britain. In non-domestic properties, 42% of meters are now smart or advanced.
With the use of smart meters on the rise and because the SME market accounts for over 99% of UK businesses and is responsible for over 50% of energy use, it is worth exploring the specific benefits that smart metering brings SMEs.
Smart meters are linked to your energy supplier’s accounts systems and take automatic reads of your business’ energy usage. This means you don’t have to take and submit readings manually. The metering process is completely automated, which for SMEs saves you valuable time to spend focusing on what really matters – your business.
Installing a smart meter is similarly convenient for SMEs. Because there are no complicated displays to contend with, a smart meter can be installed with very little disruption to your team’s workday. Our installs usually take no more than an hour, with the power or gas being turned off for only approximately 30 minutes. Standard installations are between 7am-6pm, out of hours installations can be made outside of these hours with prior arrangement.
One problem with traditional meters for businesses is that, amidst the hustle and bustle of daily tasks, users may forget to send regular readings to their supplier. The consequence of this is that the supplier then has to estimate the amount of gas or electricity that the business customer has used. These estimates may not be accurate, which can lead to unexpected bills down the line or cash flow that is unnecessarily tied up with estimations that are running too high.
By using a smart meter, you can ensure that your energy supplier receives consistent and correct readings with no extra effort on your behalf. Your business will receive accurate bills and you won’t have any unpleasant surprise costs in the future.
Smart meters give businesses greater insight on their energy usage, and the ability to track usage patterns. This allows SMEs to understand their energy use better and take the right actions to meet their goals – whether those goals are related to increasing energy efficiency or reducing company costs.
The Valda Energy app links up to your smart meter, allowing you to visualise your usage by an easy to view graph, viewable by meter point, month or day. This level of accuracy can assist in trying to pinpoint energy usage, spikes, and trends.
We have established that using a smart meter makes bills more accurate and helps ensure that SMEs do not overspend based on supplier estimates. We’ve also seen how smart meters allow SMEs to monitor their energy usage in far greater detail. This can help companies to significantly reduce their energy costs by paying attention to their usage and switching to more cost-effective practices accordingly.
Conserving energy has become an increasingly vital issue worldwide. However, research published for review in 2020 from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) shows that SMEs can face various challenges that prevent them from adopting energy efficiency measures. For example, some SMEs believe they do not have time to explore efficiency options and lack information about where and how energy is used in their businesses.
Smart metering gives SMEs an easy way to see how much of an impact they are making on the environment and enables them to adjust their day-to-day usage accordingly. Having real-time access to energy usage data can help put your SME on a greener path. For example, SMEs can use the smart meter data to give staff feedback on their energy consumption or set measurable objectives for reducing consumption.
Valda Energy is dedicated to the SME market and provides leading smart metering technology as a way of making energy more straightforward for SMEs. Our smart meters give you complete control over energy consumption and spend by taking automated reads and allowing you to access your energy-use data round the clock. With our Valda SmartChoice tariff, your SME will be able to reap the full range of smart metering benefits.
*Advanced meters are classified as meters that, at minimum, must be able to store half-hourly electricity and hourly gas data which can be accessed by the non-domestic customer and remotely accessed by the supplier.