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 24 million smart and advanced meters are operating in homes and businesses across the UK, with many business owners requesting smart meters every month.
Smart meters enable accurate billing — meaning, your business will only need to pay for the energy that 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 of 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.
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 direct to your supplier then you can request a smart meter without notifying your landlord, unless your contract says otherwise.
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 it takes about an hour to replace a single meter. It takes around one hour for an electricity meter, and around one hour for a gas meter. 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 system works, as well as how to operate it and they will answer any questions you have regarding your smart meter whilst on the visit.
When you’re up to speed, it’s important to capitalise on the benefits of having a smart meter. Use it 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.
[Please note, all suppliers have different installation and booking processes. You will need to follow your suppliers standard booking and installation processes — this information can be found on the suppliers’ website, or by calling the supplier directly.]
In short: smart meter FAQs
How do smart meters save money?
You may want to get permission from your landlord before agreeing to any work, especially if this is stipulated in your contract. The good news is installing a smart meter is seen by many as a major plus, so most landlords should be happy with the upgrade.
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