Are small businesses clued-up on smart meters?
Energy usage and the cost of gas and electricity are two major issues that small and medium-sized businesses throughout the UK are constantly grappling with. Given that energy bills form one of their largest overheads, it’s no surprise that the government have made plans to intervene, especially at a time when energy prices are going through the roof.
Not too long ago, the government announced plans for mandatory installation of smart meters in households, schools and small businesses by summer 2014. The reason behind the move was that energy usage and costs were a major concern to millions of people, not to mention the possibility of billing errors where they’re charged more than expected by their gas and electricity suppliers.
Although initially scheduled to start next year, the Energy Secretary Ed Davey announced that the national roll-out of smart meters wouldn’t begin until autumn 2015. He claimed that the decision to postpone the scheme for another year would mean they have more time to get it right, but for those hoping to get a free smart meter; they’re likely to feel a little bit disappointed.
The roll-out will come at a time when awareness of what smart metres actually do among SMEs isn’t particularly high.
A money-saving device?
The main purpose of smart meters is to monitor energy use as accurately as it can be. The data from each smart meter is then sent to energy suppliers, who can use it to send accurate bills to their customers. Once an SME has a smart meter on their premises, they can use them to work out how much they expect to pay for their gas and electricity, which makes budgeting a little easier.
Smart meters can also be used to gauge whether SMEs are paying more than expected for their energy. If so, they can use the readings as proof and try to get a better deal, be it with their existing supplier or with a new gas and electricity provider.HH