In terms of energy efficiency, one quick win for business owners is to ensure that you have the correct type of meter installed to match your usage profile.
You may have occupied your site for years, but have you ever actually checked to see if you have the right meter type?
In addition, if you move into a new site, it’s important not to assume that the meter type used by the previous occupier is the right meter type for your business. In fact, it may not have been the right meter for them either.
Below are the various types of business energy meters available. The correct meter for your business will depend on the type of business you run and the main hours it operates.
Single-rate meters are most suited to businesses who operate between the hours of 8am and 11pm. Most energy suppliers allow their night rate option to run between 12am and 7.30am so if you have little or no use between these hours then a single rate option is likely to be the most efficient for your business.
Most single-rate meters are standard non-half hourly business meters. You can tell if you have a single rate meter by checking your supply number on your energy supplier invoice. If your supply number begins with 03, then it is likely that you have a single-rate meter. However, you can still have a single-rate meter for half hourly supplies so don’t assume that you can’t benefit from a single-rate meter just because you are a high energy user.
Two-rate meters charge two separate rates during different periods of the day. Typically, the cheaper of the two rates is charged during off-peak times. Therefore, you should consider this option if you have significant energy usage during non-standard working hours.
Economy 7 and Economy 10 are the most well know two-rate metering options. They offer off peak charging for 7 hours and 10 hours respectively. Another two-rate type is an evening & weekend meter. These are ideal for businesses within the hospitality industry where businesses can take advantage through the off peak rates during their busy working periods.
Three-rate meters enable businesses to take advantage of cheaper rates at night (typically 12am-7am), as well as evening & weekend. The 3 rd rate is the day rate which is the peak charging period.
If your business has significant usage from 5pm through to 7am as well as heavy usage at the weekend, then this might be the best meter for you.
Half-hourly meters measure the energy usage every 30 minutes and feed this information back to the energy supplier automatically. If your supply number on your invoice starts ‘00’, then you will have a half-hourly meter.
It is a legal requirement for any businesses using more than 100 kWh per 30 minutes to have a half-hourly meter installed.
Smart meters work in a similar way to half-hourly meters as they automatically send flows back to the energy supplier so the supplier can invoice accurately. They are used for non-half hourly supplies. They are a great way for businesses to ensure that they only pay for the energy that they use, and they remove the hassle of having to send readings into the energy supplier each month.
Energy suppliers have been set a deadline by OFGEM of rolling out smart meters to all businesses and domestic users by the middle of 2025. Many suppliers are already being issued with a fine for not showing enough commitment to meeting this deadline.
There are two versions of the smart meter, firstly SMET 1 and now the latest version is SMET 2.
SMET 1 have been available for a number of years now. They work fine whilst you stay with the same energy supplier, however, when you transfer to a new energy supplier, the meter loses the smart function, and the readings are no longer automatically sent to the energy supplier. This basically means, the meter needs to be re-configured each time you change your energy supplier.
SMET 2 has fixed the issue and continues to work successfully for all energy suppliers. This is the meter type that OFGEM have set their targets for.
As part of our service, we complete detailed analysis to assess which meter type would be best for your usage profile. We would then present the potential cost savings to you and liaise with the energy supplier to change your meter on your behalf.
Please get in touch if you are unsure of the most suitable meter type for your business and we can review this for you. Also, if you are keen to install smart meters at your site or roll them out across multiple sites, then please do get in touch and we can organise this on your behalf.