The pros and cons of smart meters
Posted on 8th July 2019 at 13:48
Thinking about installing a smart meter? Or already have one installed? With energy bills making up a significant proportion of a business’ expenses, it's wise to consider options which could potentially save you money on these.
A smart meter sends your energy readings directly to your suppliers and lets you know exactly how much you've spent on energy in real-time. So what are the advantages of having a smart meter fitted in your business, and are there any disadvantages?
Without a smart meter, you will be required to regularly send your updated meter readings to your energy suppliers, whereas the smart meter will do the hard work for you. This means that your suppliers will bill you in accordance with your actual energy usage every time, rather than using an estimate which could cost you more for the billable period.
Having a smart meter installed allows you to see how much energy you're using at any point, enabling you to spot any bad habits you may have fallen into. If something you're doing is guzzling energy, being aware of this allows you to nip it in the bud.
While a smart meter won't necessarily save you money directly, it can help you to be aware of how much you've already spent on energy and, if it's more than you've accounted for, this allows you to take action to reduce it before your bill spirals out of control.
One negative of installing a smart meter through your provider is that, if you do want to switch providers, you may lose some of the features you previously had. This could even leave you needing to manually send readings to your new providers.
Despite its name, a smart meter can still make errors and may even send estimated readings out to suppliers. They may also experience issues if your business is based in a rural area with poor signal.
Energy suppliers often share information gleaned from smart meters and, as the signal is wireless, this is at risk of being interpreted by hackers. There have been reports of a virus spread around smart meters which cut individual energy supplies off.
Smart meters - where to find out more
The government has committed to roll out smart meters to 26 million properties by 2020. This is behind schedule but energy providers are now making a real push to ensure they meet these government targets. For businesses, it means that smart meters are likely to make their way to offices and stores, so managers now need to decide whether or not a smart meter is the right step for them financially. We have relationships with all the major energy providers and will advise you on the best solution for your business. Find out more about our business energy consultancy or get in touch if you’d like to discuss how we can help.
You can read more on this topic in the article "Everything you need to know about smart meters."
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