Frequently asked questions about smart meters for small businesses
1.What is a smart meter?
Answer: A smart meter is the new generation of energy meters for the supply of gas and electricity, which are being rolled out around the whole of the Great Britain.
2. What do smart meters actually do?
Answer: Your smart meter measures how much gas and electricity you use and securely shares this directly with your energy supplier at least once a month. You won’t have to take any meter readings manually — your smart meter will send automatic readings to your energy supplier via the secure smart data network which is solely for smart meters. This works in a similar way as other wireless systems but does not use the internet.
3. Why do I need to accurately measure energy use in this way?
Answer: Knowing exactly how much gas and electricity your business has used allows you to know exactly how much you need to pay to your energy supplier. This means rather than paying for your energy on an estimated basis , you can pay the precise amount. This helps with any business’ cash flow, which is obviously very important during a challenging time such as Covid 19.
4. Do all SMEs qualify for a smart meter?
Answer: Small businesses with fewer than 10 employees, or their full time equivalent, may be eligible for a smart meter
5. I rent my premises from a landlord, what should I do?
Answer: If you pay the energy bills you can make the decision about whether to get a smart meter. If your landlord pays your energy bills, speak with them about getting a smart meter for your building.
6. I’m too busy myself to look into getting a smart meter, any advice?
Answer: Looking to the issue of a smart energy meter, it’s a good project for a member of your business to take on. It will reduce your workload if you’re leading the business and it will make your employee feel like he or she is making a real contribution to the business and taking a bit of control at a time which is so uncertain for many small businesses. Doing this way is a win for you and the business, and win for the employee.
7. I’m not sure who our energy supplier is because we always use a broker to get the best deal for our business, what do we do this situation?
Answer: Again this is a very simple. Get in touch with the energy broker you use currently which arranged your current energy supplier and the broker will be able to tell you. If the broker doesn’t know immediately itself, then it will contact the energy supplier on your behalf because this is part of the services that energy brokers offer.
8. If I want to get a smart meter fitted, how long does it take?
Answer: Once you had confirmation from your energy supplier that your business premises is suitable for a smart energy meter, the energy supplier will arrange an appointment to fit the meter and the length of time depends on the demand in your area. The supplier will try and arrange a time which creates a little disruption as possible for your business. They are very mindful of small businesses needing to maximise revenue to try and make up the shortfall they have experienced because of Covid 19, so they endeavour to work around your times.
9. Is the fitting of smart meters affected by the national and local lockdowns?
Answer: Your energy supplier will give you the guidance relevant to your local area if you are in a lockdown phase when you contact them. But when an installer arrives at your business premises he or she will follow all the establish protocols in terms of wearing appropriate safety equipment to an appointment and will follow the recommended cleaning and sanitisation safeguards while working in your premise.
10. How experienced and trained are the installers as I’m worried they may not know what they are doing?
Answer: The installers are full trained and experienced in the process of fitting smart energy meters so you can have complete confidence in their work.
11. I’m very keen for my business to make a contribution to reducing climate change. Does getting a smart meter helped towards this?
Answer: By measuring accurately how much energy businesses use it helps with the bigger challenge of creating sufficient energy to power the nation’s business needs and helps planning with creating more energy from renewable resources such as wind and solar, and reducing the dependence on fossil fuels. So while your energy business use is very small when looked at on a national basis every little bit helps towards the country’s longer term climate targets.
12. What is Smart Energy GB?
Answer: Smart Energy GB is a government-backed organisation tasked with informing Great Britain about the benefits of the smart meter rollout. The national campaign is tasked with helping everyone in England, Scotland and Wales understand smart meters, the national rollout and how to use their new meters to be cleaner and greener with their energy use.