Will a smart meter save my business money?

Smart energy meters are devices which track energy consumption in real time and automatically transmit the data back to suppliers. Before smart meters, the only real way of tracking energy spending was checking the monthly bill. This made it incredibly hard to monitor exactly when and where energy was being used and it left the door open to a whole range of problems like inaccurate billing. The Government plans to have a smart meter installed in every home by 2020 but many industry experts and consumer groups have expressed concern about the cost-reducing capabilities of smart meters. Commentators agree that smart meters will help households save some money, but many think the costs associated with installing a new meter far outweigh the smaller sums that can be saved by reducing consumption.

Smart metering for businesses

Businesses who install smart meters will have far larger cost-reducing potential than homes who participate in the Government rollout. First of all business users, and particularly those in energy-intensive industries like manufacturing, will have the opportunity to install more ‘advanced’ smart meters. These ‘advanced’ smart meters couple real time reporting facilities with easily-accessible online consumption management systems, which allows energy managers to track patterns of energy usage and identify more significant cost-saving areas.

Energy intensive industries can save the most

Larger companies will save more money than households because they use significantly more energy in the first place. Often business owners are simply not aware of how much energy a business is using, and how far it can be reduced. Installing a smart meter can provide that eye-opening kick up the backside which managers need to start a much needed energy efficiency drive. Consider for example, a comparison between consumption data from August with that of January, when more lights are left on and the heating is turned up to 11. Usually it is small changes like turning the central heating off for an hour, or more efficient pooling of manufacturing jobs, which can have the biggest long-term impact on energy expenses.

Energy efficiency training

The important thing about saving energy with smart meters is that you get out what you put in. Installing a new gas and electricity meter can be expensive, especially if you leave the energy supplier to sort it out instead of using an energy broker like Utility Helpline. If you do install a smart meter then it is important that you make the most of the investment by learning how to effectively reduce your costs. It is all very well and good installing a fancy new piece of kit and leaving it to collect dust like your old meter. Smart meters need smart operators who have the skills to track consumption and identify cost saving areas. Tracking and understanding data can be daunting for the uninitiated, but learning how to effectively manage consumption can provide huge value for companies. Alternatively, you could pay for a professional audit managed by an energy industry expert. Our expert team of energy consultants provide a range of ‘health check’ services, both one-off audits and more regular check-ups. Talk through your specific energy needs today, speak to one of our expert consultants on 0800 043 0423.

Published by Utility Helpline on (modified )