Home Business Insights & Advice Why do companies want smart meters?

Why do companies want smart meters?

by Sarah Dunsby
26th Feb 24 3:24 pm

Smart meters are revolutionising the way businesses manage their energy consumption. While they share many benefits with domestic smart meters, there are distinct advantages that are particularly relevant for businesses, especially those with fewer than 10 employees. Understanding why companies are keen on adopting smart meters can provide valuable insights into the ongoing shift towards more efficient and sustainable energy practices.

Similarities and differences between business and domestic smart meters

The national benefits of smart meters are largely consistent across both business and domestic spheres. These include contributing to a smarter energy system, reducing reliance on fossil fuels, and enhancing national energy security. For small businesses, the process of acquiring a smart meter is identical to that of households. They can request a smart meter from their supplier, and it is installed at no extra cost.

However, a key difference lies in the provision of the in-home display (IHD). While domestic users typically receive an IHD that shows real-time energy usage, small businesses are not guaranteed one. Suppliers are not obligated to provide this portable device to small businesses, which might affect how these businesses interact with their smart meter data.

Time-saving benefits: A major advantage for businesses

One of the most significant advantages of smart meters for businesses is the substantial time-saving potential. Business owners no longer need to manually read their meters – a task that can be particularly inconvenient for those located in hard-to-reach places like basements. The automated meter readings ensure that energy suppliers receive accurate data without requiring any effort from the business owner.

This automation translates to more time for business owners to focus on core operations, rather than on administrative tasks associated with traditional meter reading. In a fast-paced business environment, this efficiency can be invaluable.

Accurate billing: Paying for what you use

Smart meters provide precise readings, ensuring that businesses are billed based on actual usage rather than estimates. This accuracy is crucial for small businesses where every penny counts. It ensures that they are not overpaying and helps in better financial planning and budgeting.

Environmental benefits: Contributing to a greener future

The national environmental benefits of smart meters extend to businesses as well. By facilitating a smarter energy system, these meters play a part in reducing the country’s reliance on fossil fuels. Reports like this Cornwall Insight one underscore the role of smart meters in enhancing energy security and potential cost savings for bill payers.

Improved energy tracking and management

While the absence of an IHD in some small businesses might seem like a setback, smart meters still provide enhanced energy-use data to suppliers. This data can typically be accessed by businesses through their energy supplier or online account. Having regular, automatic data about energy usage enables businesses to identify and implement energy-saving measures, albeit the process might not be as direct as with an IHD.

To summarise

The adoption of smart meters by small businesses is driven by the tangible benefits these devices offer. From saving time on meter readings to ensuring accurate billing and contributing to environmental sustainability, the advantages are clear. While the journey to accessing and utilising energy data might differ slightly from domestic users, the overarching benefits remain significant, making smart meters a wise choice for businesses aiming for efficiency and sustainability.

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