When considering how you can improve your business’s energy consumption, something to consider is a smart meter. 

Some businesses may already have access to a smart meter, but many are still using analogue energy meters. If you’re still unsure whether having a smart meter matters, here are some key reasons why a smart meter may be good for your business. 

Understand your energy consumption

A key benefit of smart meters is that they enable you to gain more understanding of your electricity consumption. 

A smart meter is a device that digitally tracks and monitors your electricity consumption, and this information is automatically sent to your energy retailer. 

A smart meter measures when and how much electricity is used on your premises, recording information every 30 minutes (or less). By accessing your real-time electricity data you can understand when you use the most electricity and the potential benefit from time of use tariffs. Smart meters can also reduce the chance of estimated billing, and as data is uploaded every day, allows you to work with your retailer to establish a preferred billing day, helping you manage your cash flow.

Next Business Energy offers an electricity insights portal. This means your smart meter can provide valuable information to help you manage your electricity consumption. Accessing your smart meter data via an energy insights portal can highlight your average daily consumption, compare your monthly invoice costs, compare your peak vs off-peak usage, and more. 

If you’re considering getting a smart meter, ask your current energy retailer if they offer an insights portal to help you gain control over your electricity usage.  

No more meter reader visits

Analogue electricity meters require manual reading by a meter reader, and if they can’t access your meter for whatever reason, they will estimate your electricity use. 

With a digital meter that is enabled to communicate with your distributor, your actual electricity consumption is recorded without anyone needing to come to your premises. If you get estimated bills, eventually a retailer is required under energy rules to get an actual reading, meaning appointments have to be set up and kept. Finally, when your bill is adjusted, you may find yourself with a much bigger bill than you expected. 

A smart meter can save you meter reading hassles, and unexpectedly large catch-up bills.

Better understand the energy needs of your business

With access to information on how and when your business uses electricity, you can better understand the electricity patterns of your business. 

Use information gathered via your smart meter to make adjustments to when and how you use electricity. Smart meters provide accurate detailed information about when you’re using energy. This can help you identify the best ways to improve your electricity efficiency. The data from your smart meter can enable you to see the results of switching off unnecessary appliances and also see the effects of using electricity draining appliances during various times of the day.  Electricity usage data can even help identify inefficient or faulty appliances.

A smart meter can also make it easier for you to ensure you’re getting the best price for your electricity plan, or perhaps indicate if you should switch to a better plan. 

Understanding your energy use helps you better manage costs and make savvy energy saving choices for your business. 

Minimise disruption 

When you install a smart meter, your electricity supply will experience a short disruption. Your energy retailer must give you at least four business days notification of this disruption, which tells you the date your meter is scheduled for replacement, as well as the time and length of any supply interruption.

Once installed however, smart meters may enable electricity distributors to detect faults and outages more quickly, which can help them locate issues faster to minimise disruption in the instance of a power outage. 

Connections and disconnections may also be faster and cheaper with smart meters, as unlike old analogue electricity meters, they may not require manual disconnections and reconnections.  

Speak to your energy retailer about installing a smart meter if you don’t already have one. For more information on how you can save on business energy, visit our blog on 5 ways to simplify your business energy costs.