Smart meters for businesses – FAQs
Our business energy experts answer the questions most frequently asked by small business owners about smart meters.
Does my business have to have a smart meter?
It’s not mandatory, and if offered an installation you may decline.
However, if your current analogue electricity and gas meter is at the end of its useful life, a business energy supplier will replace it with a smart meter.
Smart meters help business owners to better understand their energy consumption and avoid unexpected charges on their bills.
As part of the national rollout, business energy suppliers are required to offer smart meters.
Do smart meters work with commercial solar panels?
Yes, second-generation smart meters are fully compatible with commercial solar panels and other forms of renewable energy for businesses. Owners of solar panels can export any unused electricity back to the grid under the Smart Export Guarantee scheme. Modern smart meters are capable of measuring both electricity imported from the mains and exported under the Smart Export Guarantee.
How do I read a smart meter?
Smart meters automatically transmit consumption data to your business energy supplier. However, you can also use your smart meter to monitor your own energy consumption in two ways:
i. Using a Business Energy Monitor
A business energy monitor is a digital display that connects wirelessly to your smart energy meters. It collates consumption data over time, providing:
- Live energy consumption data in pounds and pence.
- Day-by-day energy consumption analysis.
- A system to alert you to spikes in consumption.
A business energy monitor presents smart meter data in a user-friendly format and can be placed in a convenient location, as opposed to the meter’s usual storage space.
ii. Using Traditional Meter Reading
Like traditional meters, you can manually read a smart meter. It displays a digital dial showing the energy consumption in kilowatt-hours (kWh) since the meter was installed. When switching business energy suppliers, it may be necessary to inform your new supplier of the reading on the switch-over date.