As you've probably heard, the government is planning to roll out smart meters across Britain's homes and businesses by 2020 in an attempt to give us greater control and clarity when it comes to energy consumption. The benefits of smart meters are clear:
- they show your business' real-time energy usage so you know how much you're spending at any given time, and can take quick, positive steps to reduce consumption where necessary
- they send your usage information directly to your supplier, meaning the end of estimated readings
- energy suppliers can read your meters remotely rather than organising time-costly on-site visits
- if you're experiencing technical faults with your energy supply, smart meters should be able to identify and resolve these issues more quickly and easily
Yet despite these advantages, according to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) there remains a sceptical air around the roll-out. The FSB's national chairman, John Allen, said that whilst the advantages to having a smart meter aren't in doubt, there are concerns that the supporting infrastructure around their roll-out hasn't been sufficiently developed:
“Smart meters are a vital tool for giving small businesses the information they need to make proactive decisions about their energy usage... [but they] will only succeed if they are accompanied by ongoing energy efficiency support and advice from suppliers, as well as the development of easy-to-use software... Currently there are no guarantees about this package of support.”
The FSB questions whether the government has taken into account enough the diversity of small business needs and the specific barriers they may face - for example, businesses that operate from sub-metered premises are ineligible for a smart meter.
Our Verdict & How We Can Help
We believe that smart meters put you back in control of your energy bills - providing clarity over your consumption and helping you understand where you could make your business more energy efficient.
However, we also believe the above concerns are valid, and that there may be a few bumps on the road to rolling out smart meters to every business by 2020. This is why we work closely with our suppliers to help ensure the transition of your business to a smart meter future is as smooth and stress-free as possible.
So if you're unclear as to how a smart meter might benefit you, or are unsure as to the barriers your business might face in making the move, contact us (link) or call 0330 333 4107 to speak to one of our energy consultants.