Smart Meter FAQs
What is Smart Metering?
Smart metering is a substantial step towards ensuring complete accuracy in recording your businesses energy consumption. It allows real-time data to be gained, detailing your exact usage and ensures you only get billed for exactly what you use; it signals the end of inaccurate estimations from your suppliers. Within the UK an estimated 2.7 million businesses have their meters read manually, with approximately £6.5 billion per year savings once these are converted to smart meters. Small businesses are predicted to encounter 12% savings in carbon emissions per year, with an estimated £300 million in savings for energy intensive, multi-site organisation in the UK. Smart Metering gives you a deep understanding of how much energy your business is consuming, whether it is as a single organisation or across multiple sites and divisions. You’re then able to recognise where possible savings can be made, providing substantial long-term financial benefits. Furthermore, smart metering is completely automatic, so no more submitting of meter readings and no more arranging dates and times to have the meter read (See AMR)
What are the benefits of implementing smart meters?
Allows for improved billing accuracy – based on actual consumption and the monitoring of actual energy usage, therefore opportunities exist to reduce existing energy outgoings. There are greater levels of up-to-date information at your fingertips, allowing informed decisions to be made. Remote meter reading - allowing you to concentrate of the issues that really matter. Comparisons and benchmarking of your utility usage via monthly graphical analysis and the monitoring and improvement of internal environmental targets to help minimise your carbon footprint.
Is the technology readily available?
Yes. The technology has been available for several years. Having now been developed and tested to meet specific requirements it is ready for complete UK rollout.
Why are smart meters so important?
With the well documented rise of energy prices, rate of climate change and depleting oil resources in the North Sea, we all need to consider the energy and carbon we emit, both as corporations and individuals. Change is required not just from the suppliers, but also in the mind-set and attitudes of individuals. Smart meters allow a detailed understanding of energy consumption, including possible reductions and benchmarking upon previous years meaning organisations are able to fully reduce consumption as and where possible, without impinging on performance.
If I implement smart meters will this result in usage reductions?
It is not quite automatic. Substantial cost savings are to be attained, where smart meters are used in conjunction with a structured energy plan. Ultimately, smart meters give you access to information that was previously unobtainable, this allows you to make informed decisions based on your usage.
What are the timescales for business smart metering?
The UK Government have proposed smart meters are to be installed in every domestic and commercial property by 2020. Suppliers have already commenced this process, and Ofgem is pushing for complete installation beforehand.
What are the costs associated with smart meters?
Until recently it was widely acknowledged the initial costs of smart meters provided an obstacle to their widespread implementation. However now, with the developments in communication technology, these costs have dramatically fallen.
Who is responsible for the costs associated with smart metering?
Currently suppliers are working hard to pass through costs to end users. There are some government agencies subsidising the costs and this is something Torse can look into for you. However, if you consider the long-term savings associated, smart metering will provide a quick return providing they are used and monitored as intended.
How is Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) different from Smart Meters?
Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) is essentially the advanced technology that allows you to remotely read utility meters over a geographical distance. Meters can be read on a yearly, monthly, weekly, daily or even hourly basis depending on the individual requirements. Smart Meters are an expansion of the AMR technology that allows the generation of technical measurements and provides consumption evaluation over a period of time. It allows the user to identify key trends and patterns within their consumption and adjust resources allocations accordingly. Essentially, AMR gives you the ability to record the information and smart meters allow you to understand and digest this information, making rational improvements as and where is necessary.
Why do energy companies want smart meters?
Energy suppliers believe the implementation of smart meters will allow a greater degree of efficiency in how they engage with customers. Not only will they reduce the man-hours required in visiting and reading individual consumptions; it will also dramatically reduce the back-office resources required in dealing with customers’ questions and queries. It allows suppliers to offer new forms of tariffs; meaning customers are potentially able to take advantage of cheaper rates when consumed in off-peak hours.
Why are smart meters being introduced now?
Carbon reduction and climate change is becoming an increasingly common issue facing today’s organisations. The EU, the British government and the energy industry in general are seeking new and innovative ways to produce and use energy. Energy efficiency is one of the key ways in which consumption can be reduced and smart meters are considered to be hugely beneficial in achieving this.
Is the UK leading the world in the roll out of smart meters?
Unfortunately, no. Other countries including the US, Canada, Italy, the Netherlands and Australia all lead the way in terms of smart metering. This does allow UK suppliers and customers to learn and benefit from previous experiences encountered, ensuring minimal disruption throughout.
Will there be any downtime in the transition to smart meters?
Overall disruption throughout the installation process will be kept to a very minimum. Smart meters will be installed at a time most convenient to your organisation, with a maximum downtime of 2 hours. Having said this, many customers find there is no disruption to energy usage. Prior to installation, an indication of the expected downtime will be given.
How does a smart meter take remote meter readings?
The smart meter records real-time data consumption and has the ability to internally store this data for up to one year. The meter readings are sent to the suppliers using GPS technology.
Do smart meters have a display so I can monitor the energy consumption?
Yes, all smart meters allow you to see the cumulative consumption data in terms of units used. The main benefits of smart metering are allowing users to have much greater levels of information at their fingertips, which can then be used to analyse and asses the energy efficiency. Through Torse’s meter management service we can provide detailed reports on a yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly, daily or even hourly basis.
If you would like more information on Torse’s smart meter services, please complete the below form and we will contact you as soon as possible. Alternatively, please call on 0115 853 2120.