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Could SMEs take a smarter approach to their energy?

SMEs often have so many issues that require their attention, that ensuring they’re not paying too much for their energy can fall down their list of priorities. But many could be missing out on a simple, low-maintenance way to take control of their energy use, and in turn their energy bills.

You have probably heard about smart energy meters, as the Government has set a target to roll out smart meters to all domestic and small business energy customers by the end of 2020. While there are some questions around whether or not they will meet this target, it’s likely that if you haven’t already been offered a smart meter for your business, you will be in the next two years.

Despite the Government’s push for smart meters, many businesses aren’t aware that smart meters are available to them, and there’s a general lack of awareness around the advantages of smart meters, even among businesses that already have them installed.

At Inenco, we think that SMEs can really benefit from smart meters when they’re used to their full potential – so here’s what you need to know:

How can SMEs benefit from smart meters?

Smart meters differ from traditional meters because they automatically take meter readings every half an hour, and send this data to your energy supplier. This means that you no longer have to carry out manual meter readings, saving you valuable time.

It also means that your bills will no longer be based on an estimate of your energy use – with real-time data on your usage, your supplier will be able to provide you with accurate energy bills. So you will only pay for the energy you actually use.

As you can see how much energy you’re using on the smart meter display, you should find it easier to budget for your energy costs. Having this data at your fingertips should also help you to take control of your energy consumption, as after a few months with a smart meter you should have a good idea of your typical usage. This could help you to improve your energy efficiency – if you find that there’s energy being used outside of your typical business hours, for example, you could encourage staff to ensure all electronic devices and lights are switched off before they leave.

Businesses with smart meters may also be able to access a wider range of tariffs than those without them, some of which may enable you to save money. In the future, we could even see suppliers offering new tariffs that are tailored to smart meters. For example, they could reduce your charges for using power when it’s cheaper for them to buy it on the wholesale market.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy estimates that the smart meter rollout could help businesses to save around £1.4 billion by 2020.

Get smarter with your energy

You don’t have to install a smart meter if you’re offered one, and you don’t have to wait to be asked if you do want one – you can also request a smart meter for your site from your energy supplier. Suppliers will install a smart meter on your premises for free.

If you’d like to take control of your energy costs with the help of a smart meter, get in touch with your energy supplier today. For further advice on minimising your energy bills, talk to Inenco’s experts about your procurement strategy today – simply give us a call on 0800 408 1499 or request a call back here.