Technological developments in the energy sector means that it is now possible to remotely monitor your business’ energy consumption. The technology used for measuring gas and electricity varies slightly as Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and standard gas is measured by a data logger and electricity is measured by an Automated Meter Reader (AMR). The meters/loggers work similarly and communicate wirelessly with your supplier delivering readings that are used to provide usage data.
For high energy users who fit the requirements for government legislation P272 and have a meter profile of 05, 06, 07 and 08, you should have already been contacted by your supplier and it’s likely that you will have installed an AMR at your business premises so that you are compliant with this regulation. However, whilst smaller businesses with lower consumption are not required to by law (as yet), there are many benefits to monitoring your energy usage in this way. Energy supply can represent a significant cost for small businesses and installing meter readers will help you to manage billing and make savings.
The benefits of installing a meter reader/data logger are:
1. Billing accuracy - Estimates will be a thing of the past and you will only pay for the energy that your business actually uses. A meter/ logger will automatically and wirelessly send your actual energy usage to your supplier which means that you/ your management team are not burdened with the administrative hassle of taking regular meter readings and analysing bills. Up-to-the-minute readings will also reduce the risk of incorrect charges.
2. Budget certainty - With access to so much live data together with online analytical tools it’s easy to generate definitive reports and enable a better understanding of your business’ energy consumption, allowing you to predict future usage and apportion sufficient budget accordingly.
3. Improved efficiency - Energy meters mean more frequent meter readings and the ability to keep track of peaks and troughs which can be used to spot inefficient usage trends. You and your management team can then implement strategies to create efficiencies where necessary.
4. Heightened awareness - Usage reports can be published internally making all employees aware of areas of high consumption within the business. This is of particular advantage to multi-sites as it helps to identify those premises that run less efficiently than others. The management team can then standardise and regulate energy usage, empowering employees to make changes where possible.
5. Get ahead of the game - As the Government is under more and more pressure to deal with the rising demand on the national grid, consumption is being scrutinised. Our experts predict that at some point in the near future it will be compulsory for all businesses to install meter readers and/ or data loggers regardless of meter profile. The Government has targeted the domestic energy market to make sure that every home in Britain has a smart meter installed by 2020 and it's anticipated that similar legislation will apply to the business energy market.
And finally... we'll leave you with this top tip: Shop around for your meter provider.
Your supplier will be able to provide your smart meter and will most likely install it free of charge. However, there are a number of pitfalls with this scenario. In the same way that your mobile may be locked into one network, your smart meter might be locked to one supplier, whereby a competitor would not be granted access to the meter reader. This could have a negative impact on your energy supply in the future as you will not be able to benefit from potential cost savings by switching suppliers, nor will you be able to take advantage of improved service provision.
We recommend that you choose an independent data collector that is not affiliated with one particular supplier. This way you will be able to have better control of your energy provision should you wish to change suppliers. Flexibility is key!
To speak to one of our energy experts, please contact us on 03330 433 233.