Business energy monitors and why they matter.
Businesses are feeling the effects of soaring inflation. In challenging economic times, keeping on top of business expenditures is essential.
Energy costs are high, and the wholesale energy market is volatile, so monitoring your energy usage is critical to understanding your costs.
This guide thoroughly explores business energy monitors and how they can reduce energy consumption.
What is a business energy monitor?
A business energy monitor is a device that measures your electricity and gas consumption levels. However, a business energy monitor is not a smart meter.
Business energy monitors are becoming increasingly popular in this climate, allowing companies (especially large companies) to monitor their usage across each site.
By installing a monitor, you will understand how your business consumes energy. A business energy monitor can identify inefficient appliances, such as an old air conditioning system that may be consuming a lot of energy compared to modern alternatives.
What’s the difference between a business energy monitor and a smart meter?
Unlike a smart meter, a business energy monitor is for internal monitoring only: It doesn’t automatically send readings to your business energy supplier.
The monitor will help you understand your gas usage over time in fine detail and help you identify areas where your business is being energy inefficient.
However, it will not not give you specific information pertaining to your business energy bill, which is handled by the supplier and depends on other factors besides usage like your standing charge rates, your payment/financing method and VAT.
How do energy monitors work?
Energy monitors work by adding a sensor to your energy meter, which monitors your usage by measuring the current flowing through your business electricity meter. The sensor will have a transmitter attached, too, which will wirelessly relay the information to your display monitor.
What are the benefits of having a business energy monitor?
Installing a business energy monitor has many benefits, from money-saving to reducing business carbon emissions. An energy monitor system allows for:
- Improved understanding of commercial energy usage.
- Monitoring of business greenhouse gas emissions.
- Cost savings by reducing your energy consumption in the appropriate areas.
- Identification of usage anomalies across your business premises.
Who offers business energy monitoring services?
Here are three business energy monitors to consider for your business:
- Loop Energy Saving Assistant: This uses a mobile app linked to your phone that can be linked to your smart meter. If you haven’t got a smart meter, you can connect a monitoring device to the meter for £50. Cost: £0 (£50 if you do not have a smart meter).
- OWL Micro+ CM180 Energy Monitor: Easy to set up and comes with an excellent comparison function. Cost: From £60.
- Maxcio 13A Electricity Power Consumption Monitor: Comes with seven monitoring functions and offers a range of data interpretation: From £19.
Do I need a business energy monitor if I have a smart meter?
Usually, businesses that already use a smart meter wouldn’t install a separate energy monitor but instead purchase one compatible with their smart meter.
Smart meters are usually hidden in a cupboard, delivering usage to your energy supplier, making it easy to forget to monitor business energy usage.
You can see your energy usage in detail with a business energy monitor installed. If you think you’re using too much energy, you can set a consumption limit that highlights when you exceed the limit.
It’s best practice if you have a multi-site business to monitor the energy consumption of each property separately to identify and fix outliers.
These monitors also have different software to monitor, analyse and resolve issues. As well as costs and usage, energy monitors show your carbon emissions, too – which is incredibly important to helping businesses manage and reduce their carbon emissions.
Do business energy suppliers offer free energy monitors and services?
Most business energy suppliers will not offer a free business energy monitor. They would advise you to buy one from a private outlet.
However, some specific business electricity tariffs will offer you a business energy monitor as part of the package.
Reduce your energy consumption and save money
One of the benefits of monitoring your business’s energy consumption is finding where you can make changes to reduce your consumption. Here’s a quick overview of reducing energy consumption and saving money. You can also read our in-depth article on Energy Saving Tips, and if you are a small business, you can look at our 15 Key Tips to save money as a small business article.
- Install timers
- Business Energy audits and how they help
- Move to a renewable source of energy
- Cut your hot water usage
- Use a heat pump
- LED lightbulbs
- Educate your staff
- Install commercial solar panels
- Compare business energy prices
- Business Gas Comparison
- Compare business electricity
Read our complete guide on reducing your business energy consumption, and if you’re wondering if you should fix business energy prices, look no further to our guide: Should I fix my energy prices in 2024?
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